Scam nurse scandal puts patients at risk - why are they still working in NHS? | Bolt Burdon Kemp Scam nurse scandal puts patients at risk - why are they still working in NHS? | Bolt Burdon Kemp

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Scam nurse scandal puts patients at risk – why are they still working in NHS?

As solicitors specialising in birth-related child brain injury claims, we are very concerned by the news that hundreds of frontline NHS staff, including midwives, are still treating patients despite being under investigation for their involvement in an alleged “industrial-scale” qualifications fraud. This raises serious concerns about patient safety, particularly the lives of mothers and babies.

More than 700 nurses are under investigation for their part in an alleged scam which saw proxies impersonating nurses in Nigeria in tests required to work in the UK.

Peter Carter, the ex-chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing and ex-chair of three NHS trusts, called it an “industrial-scale fraud”.

Already, 48 nurses are working in the NHS but the Nursing and Midwifery Council cannot rescind their admission to its register unless they go through an independent panel hearing.

The NMC has told the nurses to retake the test but is unable to suspend them.

Another 669 Nigerian health staff, most of whom are already in the UK, are also suspected of test fraud. They are mostly nurses but also include midwives. They have not yet had their applications to the NMC register approved, so are mainly working as healthcare assistants in the NHS and care homes.

Putting lives at risk

The fact that healthcare professionals, who are under investigation for allegations of fraudulently claiming they are qualified are still allowed to provide care to patients is unacceptable.

In cases involving childbirth, mothers and babies rely on the expertise and professionalism of healthcare professionals during pregnancy, labour and delivery. Any compromise in the qualifications and integrity of these professionals can have severe consequences, potentially leading to birth-related brain injuries or other complications that could have been prevented.

Who is responsible?

This fiasco raises an important question: Who is ultimately responsible for ensuring the qualifications and integrity of frontline NHS staff? There needs to be a thorough investigation to show the failures in the system that allowed this situation to occur and to hold those responsible accountable.

A system that allows unqualified individuals to practice as nurses and midwives and, furthermore, allows them to continue to practice while being investigated for fraud, is not fit for purpose.

The lives of mothers and babies should never be compromised due to the negligence or fraudulent activities of healthcare professionals.

Our commitment to changing lives for the better

Our specialist child brain injury team is committed to fighting for the rights of those who have suffered birth-related brain injuries because of medical negligence.

If you or your child has been affected by a birth-related brain injury, it is important to seek legal advice to understand your rights and options. Our experienced solicitors are here to give you with the support and guidance you need during this challenging time.

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