A NURSE who worked with vulnerable young people has been branded “dishonest” and struck off after failing to tell employers he was suspended.
Stephen Francis Johnson was working as a registered nurse in Bolton when a colleague discovered he had been suspended from the profession.
The qualified mental health nurse had been working at the Bridgewater Community NHS Foundation Trust when he gave his boss a forged doctor’s note and used a company car even though his driving licence had been withdrawn by the DVLA for medical reasons.
Despite resigning, he was suspended for eight months, and made subject to an interim suspension of 18 months, by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) in October 2014.
Just weeks later he gained employment with the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) through an agency.
At an NMC misconduct hearing earlier this month Johnson’s actions were ruled as “dishonest” and could have led to “serious consequences on the reputation of the profession”.
The hearing heard how Johnson failed to declare the suspension orders to the agency and CAHMS, and the team only learnt of the deceit when they searched the NMC register following a call from a member of the public expressing ‘vague’ concerns about Johnson. A report from the NMC hearing panel said he had been dishonest.
It said: “In all the circumstances the panel considered that Mr Johnson had acted dishonestly and that his dishonesty included elements of pre-planning and calculation to deceive the trust and his employer in relation to the restrictions against his registration.”
In documents provided by the nurse, he denied acting dishonestly or with an intention to deceive, believing it was a “non-nursing role” and not purely based on his registration.
However, the panel ruled that Johnson was an experienced nurse who would not be “naive” enough to not understand the nature of the role of “great trust and responsibility” which involved “privileged access to a highly vulnerable patient group”.
A spokesperson for the Bolton NHS Foundation Trust said: “We take matters such as these very seriously, and can confirm that we terminated their employment with the trust as soon as we became aware of the nurse’s suspension.
“We immediately referred the matter to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), which resulted in the recent hearing.”