26th Oct, 2016

Solihull nurse has been found guilty of presenting fraudulent GP Fit notes to pocket sick pay

Solihull Editorial 25th Sep, 2016 Updated: 24th Oct, 2016

A SOLIHULL nurse has been struck off after she was found guilty of presenting fraudulent GP Fit notes in order to pocket £2,700 in sick pay.

Joyline Chenai Kutsonga was working as a nurse on the Beech Ward at Heartlands Hospital when she reported sick with a bad back between February 16 and April 24, 2014.

Mrs Kutsonga said she had injured herself outside the workplace and produced what she said were Fit notes from her GP.

But staff at the hospital became suspicious that the notes were fakes – confirming with the GP that she had not seen Mrs Kutsonga or issued her any sick notes.

After an investigation by the Heart of England NHS Trust proved the allegations true, she was dismissed by letter dated November 3, 2014.

The matter was then referred to the NHS’ local fraud team, which investigated her for fraud by misrepresentation, and she was also interviewed by police in June 2014 – to whom she denied the allegations and claimed the Fit notes had been provided by her GP in sealed envelopes.

The case was heard at Birmingham Magistrates Court on December 1 last year where she changed her not guilty plea to a guilty plea at the eleventh hour on the day of her trial.

She was convicted and sentenced for four charges under the Fraud Act 2006, was handed a community order and ordered to pay £2,700 in compensation and costs of £490.

In deciding the punishment handed to Mrs Kutsonga at a hearing last month, the Nursing and Midwifery Council said: “It noted that the conviction was for fraud, an offence of dishonesty; that the registrant had made a pecuniary gain of £2,700 in sick pay received from her employer to which she was not entitled; that the offence spanned a number of weeks and therefore had been repeated; and that public money was involved.

“The panel therefore had little hesitation in concluding that the offence for which she was convicted was serious enough so as to call her fitness to practise into question.

“The panel considered this case very carefully and decided to make a striking off order.”