Oluyemi v Nursing and Midwifery Council [2015] QBD (Admin)

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The Appellant appealed against a Nursing and Midwifery Council ['NMC'] Conduct and Competence Committee ['CCC'] decision that she be removed from the Register. The Appellant was found to have acted dishonestly having obtained her role using false documentation and the CCC determined that she had not demonstrated sufficient insight into the impact of her decisions. The appeal was dismissed.

Facts

The Appellant was refused leave to remain in the UK and as a consequence was not eligible to work. However, in 2008, the Appellant obtained a forged passport, through her solicitors, which showed that she had been granted leave to remain. The Appellant obtained a nursing role using the forged documents and practised in this role for two years after which, it was discovered that the documents were fraudulent and she was subsequently dismissed.

The Appellant, at the CCC hearing, admitted she had acted dishonestly following her initial denial of this. The CCC found the Appellant was impaired due to her deliberate dishonest behaviour and her lack of insight into this, on the grounds of public protection. The CCC, having determined the Appellant's fitness to practise was impaired, considered the Appellant's reflective statement and concluded that it was in the public interest to make a striking-off order and that this was the only appropriate sanction.

Grounds of appeal

The Appellant brought the following grounds of appeal:

(1) the CCC failed to have due regard to her reflective statement;

(2) the sanction imposed by the CCC was disproportionate and excessive.

Judgment

Handed down by Lewis J.

Ground (1):

Lewis J found that the first ground of the appeal was unsustainable. The CCC considered the reflective statement and set out the issues and conclusions it had reached. The CCC decision identified suspension as a possible sanction but explained that although the Appellant had only committed one act of dishonesty, it was continued and was for personal gain, and that repetition could not be ruled out. Lewis J found that the CCC was best placed to evaluate the evidence and whether the Appellant's behaviour was likely to be repeated. The CCC identified the issues and gave reasons for its conclusions based on the facts (Raza v General Medical Council [2011] EWHC 790 (Admin) applied).

Ground (2):

Lewis J found that the CCC's reasons for deciding that suspension was not an appropriate sanction were clear from the determination. The CCC had taken the view that the Appellant's misconduct was very serious and had undermined trust and confidence in the profession and was sufficient to require a striking-off order. The dishonest behaviour went against the principles of honesty and integrity which were foundations of the nursing profession (Parkinson v Nursing and Midwifery Council [2010] EWHC 1898 (Admin) applied). Lewis J further found that the CCC was best placed to assess misconduct and given the seriousness of the misconduct and the absence of the Appellant's insight into her behaviour, the CCC was entitled to remove her from the Register.

Appeal dismissed.

Keziah Pearson
Solicitor