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Nurse who fraudulently claimed almost £90,000 struck off

Forth Valley Royal Hospital nurse Avril Morrison failed to disclose her conviction.

Hospital: Morrison claimed her role was 'not hands-on'.
Hospital: Morrison claimed her role was 'not hands-on'. James Nicoll

A nurse who fraudulently claimed almost £90,000 in benefits has been struck off.

Avril Morrison failed to disclose her conviction, a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) hearing heard.

She said her role at Forth Valley Royal Hospital was not "hands on" when an investigation was launched into her claims but a colleague said she was expected to carry out the full range of nursing duties.

A Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) hearing has now found she failed to disclose her conviction for benefits fraud.

She was admonished at Falkirk Sheriff Court in March 2016 after repaying £4500 and agreeing to repay the remaining sum at £100 a month.

The nurse claimed around £57,000 in incapacity benefit, £27,000 in disability living allowance and £4500 in employment support allowance.

Morrison was interviewed by a Department for Work and Pensions fraud investigator in December 2013, and the NMC panel heard a recording of their conversation.

She was asked about the nature of her role and told the investigator: "Well it was, if I was doing, eh, student mentoring it would be sort of guidance with the students, you know sort of working alongside of them, not 'hands on' as such."

'She has shown a flagrant disregard for the laws of the country, her employment and the NMC codes.'
NMC panel

A senior charge nurse at Forth Valley Royal Hospital gave evidence to the NMC panel and said Morrison carried out the full range of nursing duties.

This included assessing patients, taking blood samples and administering medication.

Six charges of misconduct against Morrison were found proved at the NMC hearing in Edinburgh last week, including failing to notify her employers she had been charged with a criminal offence.

The NMC panel noted: "Until the fraudulent nature of her claims was discovered, Mrs Morrison had claimed approximately £87,000 from the public purse, to which sums she was not entitled."

Announcing its decision to remove Morrison from the nursing register, the panel said she had shown a pattern of dishonesty over several years.

It said: "She has shown a flagrant disregard for the laws of the country, her employment and the NMC codes."

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