Conduct and Competence Committee Substantive Order Review Hearing. 14 July Nursing and Midwifery Council, 61 Aldwych, London, WC2B 4AE

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1 Conduct and Competence Committee Substantive Order Review Hearing 14 July 2017 Nursing and Midwifery Council, 61 Aldwych, London, WC2B 4AE Name of Registrant Nurse: NMC PIN: Mrs Oluwadola Olubunmi Mercy Dania 99H0121E Part(s) of the Register: Registered Nurse Sub Part 1 Mental Health Nursing - 5 September 2002 Area of Registered Address: Panel Members: Legal Assessor: Panel Secretary: Kent Ms Linda Stone (Chair and Lay member) Ms Nalini Chavda (Lay member) Mr Michael Murphy (Registrant member) Ms Gillian Hawken Mr Ian Dennehey Representation: NMC: Registrant: Order Reviewed: Fitness to Practise: Outcome of Review: Represented by Ms Rose Harvey, Counsel, instructed by NMC Regulatory Legal Team. Mrs Dania was present and was represented by Mr Abbey Akinoshun, of Employment Rights Representation and Advisory Services. Suspension Order: 12 Months. Not Currently Impaired. Existing Suspension Order continues in effect until it expires at the end of 29 August 2017.

2 Determination on review of a substantive suspension order: This hearing has been convened in accordance with the provisions of Articles 30 (1) of the Nursing and Midwifery Order 2001 (the Order). This is a review of the suspension order imposed on your registration. Your registration was made subject to a suspension order for 12 months by a panel of the Conduct and Competence Committee on 28 July That order is due to expire at the end of 29 August The charges found proved at the original hearing related to your conduct in sleeping whilst on duty and dishonestly working on dates when you were certified as not fit to work, undertaking bank shifts when you were in receipt of sick pay from your full time employer, and dishonestly seeking to conceal from employers that you had been referred to the NMC. In relation to the issue of misconduct and impairment, the panel at the original hearing stated: As an experienced nurse of some 12 years, the panel was concerned by the variety of incidents which gave rise to the charges. The panel found that your sleeping on duty when you should have been observing Patient A, a vulnerable patient, representing to the bank that you were fit to work, and failing to ensure that your current employer was fully aware of matters pertaining to your fitness to practise were serious. Not only did you act dishonestly when you knowingly undertook bank shifts whilst in receipt of sick pay, you also knowingly concealed information pertaining to your fitness to practise from your employers. The panel is not satisfied that you fully understand the seriousness or the implications of your actions and behaviour in relation to the safety of patients, colleagues, the Trust, the nursing profession and the wider public perception of the profession. The panel considered your dishonesty to be a fundamental departure from the standards expected of a registered nurse and that your actions constituted a breach of a fundamental tenet of the profession. Honesty, integrity and trustworthiness are considered to be the bedrock of a nurse s practise. Furthermore, the panel concluded that, by your dishonest actions, you failed to uphold the reputation of your profession and that your behaviour fell seriously short of the standards reasonably expected of a nurse and were in the panel s view sufficiently serious to amount to misconduct. The panel then went on to consider whether your fitness to practise is currently impaired by reason of your misconduct. In so doing, the panel took into account its duty to protect patients and its wider duty to protect the public interest, which includes the declaring and upholding of proper standards of conduct and

3 behaviour, and the maintenance of public confidence in the profession and in the regulatory process.... The panel noted that you have fully engaged with the NMC proceedings and admitted some of the charges. However, in giving your evidence, the panel found you, at times, to be evasive and was of the view that you lacked sufficient insight into your misconduct. Instead, you appeared to be reciting the evidence you believed the panel expected to hear rather than to be displaying true insight. In addition, the panel considered that whilst you had, on numerous occasions throughout the proceedings apologised for your actions, it considered that you were reluctant to accept full responsibility for your actions. Instead, you sought to justify your behaviour rather than to demonstrate unequivocal remorse.... The panel also acknowledged that you have reflected upon your actions. However, whilst you have apologised for your actions and have presented some explanation as to why you behaved in the way in which you did, the panel has heard limited information from you as to the impact that your failings had on Patient A. The panel was not reassured by your reflective statement that you have reflected on your actions and is concerned that you have not addressed the fundamental aspects of your behaviour such as to satisfy the panel that there would be no further occurrence in the future. In addition, the panel was concerned by your lack of awareness as to the importance of being open and honest with your employer as to your fitness to practise. For these reasons, the panel concluded that your insight into your misconduct is limited. The panel concluded that as a result of your misconduct, particularly your dishonesty, on more than one occasion, you brought the profession into disrepute by breaching a fundamental tenet of the profession. Dishonesty is, by its very nature, not easily remediable and you have provided little evidence to suggest full acceptance of your misconduct or understanding and reflection in relation to your actions and their implications. The panel was therefore of the view that there remains a real risk of repetition of your conduct, including your dishonest conduct in the future which could breach a fundamental tenet of the profession, bring the profession into disrepute and potentially harm patients.

4 Explaining its decision with regard to sanction, the panel at the original hearing stated: A period of suspension conveys a clear message to the public and the profession of the importance of fundamental standards of professional conduct and, in particular, that your dishonesty was totally unacceptable and must not happen again. Although the panel has limited evidence of insight, albeit that you have fully engaged with the NMC process, it concluded that the events in 2013/14 do not demonstrate a deep-seated personality or attitudinal problem, such that it would be incompatible with you continuing to be a registered nurse. The panel considered that a period of suspension would be sufficient to protect patients and satisfy the public interest and would provide you with the opportunity to reflect further and develop full insight into your past misconduct. The panel did consider a striking off order but concluded that this would be disproportionate in the context of its findings. Should you pursue the process of reflection and gaining insight to a successful conclusion, the public would then have the benefit of your skills and experience as a registered nurse upon your return to safe practise. In this context, the panel also took into account the financial hardship which would result from a striking off order. The panel at the original hearing recommended that you provide any reviewing panel with the following: A personal written reflection detailing: the facts found proved, examine the events behind the facts, what impact they had upon the safety of patients, colleagues, the Trust, the nursing profession and the wider public perception of the profession; what you should have done and what you intend to do in the future were to be in a similar situation and details of how you would apply such learning in your practise; your understanding as to why your actions were found to be dishonest. Up to date references from any employment paid or unpaid in a care setting; and Details of how you have kept up to date with your nursing knowledge. This panel comprehensively reviewed the current order in the light of the circumstances that exist today. The panel exercised its own independent judgment in relation to this case. The panel first considered whether your fitness to practise remains impaired. In so doing it had regard to the history of your case, the documentation before it, which

5 included your further written reflection, evidence of continuing professional development and a reference from your current employer. The panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor. It took account of the NMC s document Substantive Order Review Guidance and those parts of the Indicative Sanctions Guidance that relate to review hearings. It also had regard to its primary functions which are the protection of the public, the maintenance of public confidence in the profession and the promotion and maintenance of proper professional standards of conduct for registrants. Paragraph 51 of the Indicative Sanctions Guidance, which is relevant to review hearings, makes clear that a panel should not allow a registrant to resume unrestricted practice, unless it is satisfied that his or her fitness to practise is no longer impaired. A key question for the panel today was what had changed since the last hearing. Ms Harvey was neutral as to whether your fitness to practise remains impaired. Mr Akinoshun informed the panel on your behalf that you had been intending to give evidence on oath but, two days ago, suffered a family bereavement. You had nevertheless attended this review hearing because you recognised its importance but in the circumstances felt unable to cope with giving evidence. Mr Akinoshun invited the panel to allow the current order to lapse. He referred the panel to your written reflection, evidence of courses undertaken to maintain your knowledge, the positive work reference which attests to your honesty and the absence of any subsequent concerns regarding your honesty. He submitted that, collectively, this was evidence that demonstrated you have developed your insight, no longer represent a risk of repeating your misconduct and are now safe to resume unrestricted practice. On the evidence before it, the panel today is satisfied that, although acts of dishonesty are not remediable in the way that clinical failings might be addressed, for instance, by undertaking training, the risk of dishonesty being repeated may properly be assessed in the light of insight, and by the lack of any subsequent dishonesty, together with evidence of behaviour demonstrating a commitment to openness and transparency. In the panel s judgment, your written reflection addresses the issues highlighted by the

6 original panel. You have developed your insight into your misconduct and have expressed clear remorse. The reference dated 12 July 2017 from the Managing Director of Cognithan Rehab Services, where you have been employed as a Senior Support Worker since November 2016, makes clear that you disclosed the NMC sanction and what are described as your NMC infractions during the recruitment process. That letter refers to you as a dependable, responsible honest and courteous member of the team and states you have demonstrated the moral standards and fitness required for working as a registered Mental Health Nurse... You have provided evidence of the online and, in some cases, face to face training you have undertaken in an attempt to maintain your clinical knowledge. In the panel s judgment these courses appear appropriate to the duties you are undertaking in your current role. On the basis of the information before it, the panel concluded that you have complied with the recommendations made at the original hearing. Your developed insight, your remorse and your acceptance of your personal accountability for your failings taken together with the evidence confirming your subsequent good conduct, led the panel to determine that the risk of you sleeping on duty or acting dishonestly again is no greater than the risk posed by any other registrant who is practising safely. It follows that there is no longer a real risk to the public if you were to be permitted to practise without a further period of restriction. The panel next considered whether a further order was required to address the public interest. The panel concluded that the public interest has been addressed by the decision at the original hearing to impose a suspension order for a period of twelve months. For all the reasons set out above, the panel determined that your fitness to practise is not currently impaired. Accordingly, the panel decided that it should make no further order under the provisions of Article 30 (1) of the Nursing and Midwifery Order Neither party invited the panel to exercise its powers under Article 30 (2) and 30(4) of the Nursing and Midwifery Order The current suspension order will continue in effect until it expires at the end of 29 August 2017.

7 The panel s decisions today will be confirmed to you in writing. That concludes this hearing.

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