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Woman avoids jail after posing as nurse


A woman has been spared jail after falsely claiming to be a registered nurse.

Denice Stewart, 47, pleaded guilty to fraud, forgery and deception at Maidstone Crown Court after being investigated by the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, and was sentenced to 20 months imprisonment, suspended for two years.

In December 2003, Stewart forged a registration application with The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) while living in Darlington, County Durham. At the time, she was already working at Darlington Hospital as a bank nursing auxiliary.

In July 2005 she moved to Wimbish, Essex, where she got a job as a practice nurse in Newport after falsely claiming to be a registered general nurse with the NMC.

In July 2006, she moved again, this time to Great Lines, Gillingham, where, over a period of four years she found work as a practice nurse in four GP surgeries in the Medway area, before moving to Wales in late 2010.

Checks made by the NMC found Stewart had been working as a nurse after forging qualification documents and stealing another nurse’s registration forms. She was arrested in Brecon, Mid Wales, on July 22, 2011.

As part of her sentence, she also received a six-month curfew and must complete 100 hours of voluntary work.


Readers' comments (29)

  • Anonymous | 9-Mar-2013 8:04 pm

    the NMC are still responsible for their registrants and for protection of the general public against bogus practitioners.

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  • If you ever read through the FtP cases on the NMC website you'll see that actually registered nurses are getting time for less risky behaviour. This doesn't sit well at all.

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  • Putting the time line together reveals warning signs to prospective employers. Denice Stewart moved jobs on a yearly basis, she kept moving. It would be interesting to find out how she managed to gain the posts but then did not stay long. Practice Nursing is highly skilled, was she found out because she did not have the expected skill level and then left. If so why was she not reported sooner to prevent other employers taking her on. Was being conned embarrising for the Practice Managers and GPs so they just let her go to avoid local press interest. More questions than answers.

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  • It's time to put forward a vote of no confidence in the NMC,they do nothing for us or the general public yet continue to raise registration fees.Unfortunately nurses salaries do not rise and the NMC states it no longer provides an advice service.Personally I would rather be answerable to the GMC.

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  • Surely every smear test she undertook was sexual assault and every injection actual bodily harm, never mind the fraud undertaken. Seriously deranged.

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  • How can someone get away with this. They should be locked up for that. Putting others at risk is ok then is it. So when a real Nurse puts someone's life at risk from now on everything will be ok ad we can get away with it. No wonder some pepole don't trust Nuurses. Who can blae them when you here stories that.

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  • This seriously undermines the role of the Practice Nurse, the professionalism and the ethico-legal responsibilities and duties that are entrusted to us. If someone with no experience or qualifications can do the job for as long as that without being accountable, then we as a profession had better watch out!! Gps now replace qualified nurses with HCAs and now the RCN are talking about assistant practitioners. We are being micromanaged to the point of eradication and many of us are being forced to undertake training without support or funding. We have no choice if we want to retain our professional competencies, registration and keep our jobs. This includes compassion in care, dignity and safeguarding. The NMC along with Cameron and his government pay lip service to us and nothing more. The real power is in the hands of the employers - ergo the GPs and CCGs. It has become a target driven and payment by results ethos and culture. The NMC and RCN should get into the real world and wake up and smell the coffee!!

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  • the nursing profession becomes rather pointless if the authorities and employers believe they can cut down on training costs and get the same service far cheaper from less qualified individuals. if they are so blind, time will tell when statistics show the results of this type of care and a far greater burden of practice and accountability on the medical profession.

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  • How on earth did she know how to do the job?? Did no other staff member think it was strange that she didn't know anything?

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  • When I saw the headline of this article, I thought the CNO had almost been rumbled.

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