latest health care news

01.01.11

Nurse jailed for sick pay con

A critical care nurse who worked hundreds of shifts for a private agency while on paid NHS sick leave has been jailed for nine months.

An NHS Protect investigation found that John Allen, 52, of Westminster Road, North Shore, Blackpool, defrauded the NHS of £40,734.50 between January 2007 and October 2009, while he was employed by Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust as a full-time nurse in the Critical Care Unit. The unit had to cover his absences with nurse bank staff, adding to the cost of his dishonesty.

He was sentenced last week at Preston Crown Court.

Pauline Smith, anti-fraud specialist for NHS Protect in the North West, said: “This nurse was given time and money to recover from his problems by the NHS, but repaid his employer with dishonesty. NHS Protect will continue to come down hard on the minority of NHS staff who steal from the taxpayer and patient, and let down their colleagues. We will formally refer this case to the Nursing and Midwifery Council, to consider whether Allen should remain a nurse.”

Allen pleaded guilty to charges under the Fraud Act. There will now be an attempt to recover the money.

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