Nurse suspended for driving Bupa company car while banned

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A NURSE gave police a fake name to dodge being caught for driving while banned.

Abigail Nicholls’ actions were found to have amounted to ‘serious misconduct’ and have led to her being suspended for three months.

Nicholls, of Lee-on-the-Solent, was working for Bupa Home Healthcare, using a company car to get around.

But the Nursing and Midwifery Council panel heard she initially failed to tell bosses she was banned from driving for six months after totting up 12 points for speeding in December 2013.

Nicholls, who had recently worked at Naomi House hospice, was pulled over in March 2014 and gave police different identity details to avoid being caught out. But officers discovered who she was and she was charged.

The panel heard Nicholls, who admitted a string of offences in October 2014 at magistrates’ court, eventually told Bupa about her ban.

In a report, Sara Nathan, panel chair, said: ‘Ms Nicholls dishonestly failed to disclose to her employer her driving disqualification.’

She added: ‘The panel has decided Ms Nicholls’ actions fell well below the standards and conduct expected of a registered nurse.’

The panel suspended her after finding her fitness to practise was impaired.

Nicholls said: ‘Nursing has been my life for 13 years, and during my nursing career I have acquired and learnt great skills and attributes, while undertaking my work with competence and upmost professionalism.

‘I made a mistake and feel I was punished as deserved.’

Nicholls said she was remorseful over the incident.

These charges were found proved:

n Between December 10, 2013 and August 29, 2014, failed to tell Bupa of ban.

n Conduct was dishonest in failing to disclose disqualification knowing that you were obligated to do so.

The final charges related to her four convictions of: obstructing or resisting a police officer, speeding, driving while uninsured and driving while disqualified.

The final four charges meant her fitness to practise was impaired due to convictions; the first two impaired her fitness due to misconduct.

A Naomi House hospice spokesman said Nicholls had undergone checks relating to protection of children but that the hospice would have liked to have known of her convictions.

A Bupa spokeswoman said: ‘As soon as we were made aware of the incident we suspended Ms Nicholls.

‘We then undertook action which led to her dismissal.’