Sort out the basics…

primary care training_NHS_Sort out the basics...

A very curious thing has happened and without the HSJ we might never have known.

Their reporter Rebecca Thomas revealed; MH Tsar, Clair Murdoch’s trust had employed a mental health nurse, who, it appears, in 2012, had been, with others, accused of falsifying a care plan, after a patient had died.

The NMC studied the evidence and took a view. Following a hearing the nurse in question, Naushad Nojeeb, was suspended from the register for three months.

Mr Nojeeb has subsequently been reinstated on the register, to practice, without restrictions and has resumed his career.

Mr Nojeeb is interesting; in 2006, he worked at a trust involving the mysterious death of a patient, diagnosed with bipolar disease, in the care of North Essex Mental Health Trust.

She was found dead, beneath the upstairs bathroom window of her home. The husband criticised the Trust for their lack of care and Mr Nojeeb, answering for the Trust, apologised for any shortcomings there may have been in the care plan (which had recommended she join a ‘dog walking club’). The coroner recorded an open verdict.

I should make the point there was no criticism of Mr Nojeeb. I raise the issue only to demonstrate how easy it has been to locate and find a career history for Mr Nojeeb.

The sort of thing an HR department might be expected to do?

I have also discovered Mr Nojeeb won kudos of praise for a paper he and others, wrote, dealing with ‘person centred leave’, reducing the numbers failing to return. And, very good it is too.

He also won praise at the Nursing Times Awards for his work, with others, on memory-assessment support services.

Ms Murdoch is writing to Trusts to ask them to do more stringent background checks and to put in place a set of self-disclosure questions;

  • Any convictions they may have;
  • If they have been subject to police investigation;
  • Whether they have been dismissed; and
  • Whether they have been subject to action by a professional body.

This looks to me either superfluous or unimplementable and adds to the confusion that already exists and MsM might like to take a look at NHSI ‘Just Culture’ advice..

A DBS check should take care of convictions.

Being the subject of a police investigation doesn’t make you a criminal and anyway, how would you confirm it?

What is the status of spent sanctions? The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, says, once your conviction is spent, this entitles you (for jobs where it applies to), in basic terms, to portray yourself as somebody who has never been convicted… but not if you are a nurse or a doctor.

However, this is not a criminal matter. Employment is a contract.

Trust’s own Professional Registration Checks policies include six checks; indemnity, professional registration and qualification checks, right to work, health assessments, criminal record checks,

A look at the NMC website; Mr Nojeeb’s registration, gives no clue as to the past. Neither can it. The sanction is spent. It is not spent, subject to him declaring it forever and a day. The regulator has decided he is entitled to learn, be supported and move on.

It looks to me Mr Nojeeb is perfectly entitled to apply for employment and not to refer to spent sanctions, if he was not asked to do so. Even if asked, an employment lawyer may take a view as to the authority of the question?

The NHS Jobs website requires answers to questions about previous regulatory issues but Trusts, desperate to find staff, are free to take different, perhaps less

rigorous approaches.

Of course, they risk their employer’s indemnity if they do not take reasonable steps to satisfy themselves as to the bonafides of their staff.

All I have done is spend ten minutes on Google… found out about a man who did a stupid thing but now wants to move on, and revealed a mess of regulatory contradiction, muddle and ambiguity.

If we have a ‘national’ health service we should have a national policy, better guidance and a clear understanding of how much the past should impact the future.

Once again, it’s a pity we can’t sort out the basics.

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Know something I don’t – email me in confidence.

Reproduced at by kind permission of Roy Lilley.