Ethics-teaching nurse banned after faking illness

A lecturer on ethics who moonlighted at a care home while pretending to be sick has been banned from nursing. Picture: Greg Macvean
A lecturer on ethics who moonlighted at a care home while pretending to be sick has been banned from nursing. Picture: Greg Macvean
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A NURSE who lectured healthcare students on ethics moonlighted at a care home while telling university bosses she was sick has been banned from nursing for a year.

Sandra Forbes sat on the East of Scotland research and ethics committee for six years, despite moonlighting at a nursing home “numerous” times while off sick from her role as a lecturer at Dundee University.

She also made errors in record keeping and lied about giving medication to elderly residents at Viewlands House care home in Perth in 2011.

While at Dundee University Mrs Forbes was responsible for teaching undergraduates the Nursing and Midwifery Code and Ethics.

At a hearing of the nursing watchdog the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) chairwoman Ann Booth said: “The panel concluded that Mrs Forbes’ dishonest actions in working whilst she was in receipt of sick pay was completely at odds with the values and teachings she should be maintaining in both these roles.

“The panel concluded that this raises serious public interest issues, and that right thinking members of the public would be concerned to know that a registered nurse in Mrs Forbes’ position had behaved in such a dishonest manner.”

The panel heard Mrs Forbes has not practised as a nurse since her suspension from the university in September 2012, after the moonlighting between 2009 and 2010 emerged.

She was dismissed from the job in May 2014 but later successfully appealed to retire on grounds of ill health.

Despite Mrs Forbes admitting her dishonesty the ethics committee is supporting her.

Her solicitor, Eilidh Barnes, said a year long ban would cause Mrs Forbes “financial difficulty”.

The panel imposed a year-long ban last week ahead of a full hearing.

Ms Booth said: “Whilst the panel took Mrs Forbes’ personal circumstances as the time of the allegations into account, it has seen no evidence of remediation such as to satisfy the panel that the risk of repetition of this behaviour has been minimised.

“The panel considered, in the light of the outstanding concerns in relation to Mrs Forbes’ clinical practice, that the public would be put at risk of harm were she to be allowed to continue to practice unrestricted.

“The panel therefore considered that an interim order was necessary on the grounds of public protection.”


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