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Former nursing student jailed for NHS fraud


A former overseas nursing student at Thames Valley and Surrey universities has been jailed for defrauding the NHS of over £18,000.

Memory Chamboko, 35, of College Town, Owlsmoor, Hampshire, was sentenced to six months in prison this week by Reading Crown Court.

She entered the UK in 2002 on a student visa but stayed on after it ran out, and had a subsequent asylum application refused.

A joint police and NHS Counter Fraud Service investigation found she had defrauded the NHS of £18,699.93 from two student bursaries. She pleaded guilty to seven offences, involving deception and false documentation.

Ms Chamboko started an adult nursing diploma at the University of Surrey in September 2006 and applied for a bursary. She supported her applications with a false Home Office letter stating she had indefinite leave to remain in the UK, which was a condition of acceptance for both the course and bursary.

She received bursary payments of £3,952.81 to cover September 2006 to March 2007 but, following an unsatisfactory Criminal Records Bureau check, she withdrew from the course in March 2007.

Ms Chamboko then fraudulently obtained a place on an adult nursing course at Thames Valley University, which she attended from March 2008 until her arrest two weeks ago on 15 April. For this application she used the name Rutendo Memory Chamboko, giving a different date of birth from that given to Surrey University. As a result she received additional NHS Student Bursary payments of £14,747.12.


Readers' comments (24)

  • Yes , i am pleased this one has been caught and i hope the rest of them who have gone through already and those who are still in the midst of training will be weeded out and sent back to where they came from. I do agree with previous writer regarding the devious politicians, bankers and medical personnel, but two wrongs will never make a right and that is why there are laws to be adhered to, what else are they doing to defraud the system?The rate at which things are going we may soon have to work for free, as you can see it is really having a negative impact on the country. WELL DONE!!!!!!!!!

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  • Great to see thinly veiled bigotry and racism alive in the u.k. The writer's above make me proud to be British and a nurse.

    I'm leaving the U.K. as soon as this contract finishes. Your welcome to continue your village idiot ramblings and wailing about 'safe-guarding' a profession that looks down it's nose at the weak and beleaguered while approving and rewarding stupidity and incompetence. Last time I checked the bursary was a sweetener for working a full time week, nothing 'stolen' from 'us'.

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  • I can see the lack of compassion that some of our nurses have .I wish they will have some difficult experience in life that could help them see persons in such situation differently.One can say,this situation is not necessarily about the bursary. It is about a human being finding themselves in a desperate position.

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  • Isn't it more about working within The Code? There are plenty enough of my colleagues who are struggling the balance of finance, work , family and studying but they operate within the law and the ethics of the profession. I don't really think it appropriate to wish anyone hardship, really do you? Are we suppossed to say "sorry for being caught"? Fraud is fraud with the same penilty what ever your creed. How many others (individuals- all creed) are defrauding the system with exagerated milage claims, hours claimed etc. If it is knowingly done it is dishonest.

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  • What's 'The Code'?

    You mean that little handbook they send through the post every year after you send in some money? You can't register without money, what's moral about that?

    There's a big old world out there. Some of us have had more to worry about than childcare problems.

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  • You'll soon be acqainted with The Code if you have a complaint or allegation made against you. It's for public protection, yes it is extortionate but it is what we have to do to practice.
    I was introducing the idea of a work life balance by the way, and yes for those of us who have other responsibilities in our lives, in our big wide world, childcare is a number one priority to do our job.
    This article is about Fraud. If more "health professionals" chose to comment are more professional and less personal, maybe we would have a decent debate going??

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  • My objection to the small town racism without full knowledge of the facts is personal not professional. I don't normally check the handbook when wondering whether other people shouldn't wind their necks in on internet forums. I couldn't give a monkey's about professional ethics or 'the code' in this instance. Doubt she'll get the opportunity to register with the NMC now, so 'the code' is a moot point.

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  • UNBELIEVABLE the attitude of some people that, they feel that this person should have been given some consideration and understanding because she had the aforesight to choose a profession in the healthcare sector. One of which that holds a great deal of responsibility and trust with the most vulnerable members of our population.

    If she is prepared to carry out an act of fraudulent behaviour before she is a registered nurse what, would she be prepared to do once she was in a position of authority and trust, i.e. registered nurse. It is frightening, that she used such a profession to disguise her criminal behaviour. For those not following this - try attending a course on Domestic Abuse. Whether it be financial, emotional, sexual or physical abusers try to disguise their behaviour by appearing the 'perfect individual', and by the sound of some of the comments left it would appear that she has suceeded, in gaining sympathy for her behaviour. Fraud is fraud. Who knows where it may have led if she had been allowed to continue.

    Yes, I agree that a person should not be judged without knowing the full facts. But, we don't appear to be privy to them and therefore, it is difficult. However, that is not to say that we should dismiss our professional code, it is there for a reason. To protect both ourselves and the general public, whether we have to pay to register or not. Yes, the subsciption fees have increased dramatically in recent years but, there again, if we weren't professional in our behaviour and intent we wouldn't be able to re-register, would we!

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  • its unbelieveable how we can come across as being rasist with our comments, obviously what the lady did was wrong,but how many people born in this country are willing to go out to work let alone do a course in nursing. Am sure there are a lot of theives who are training as nurses in the uk too. Most people prefer to sit at home colleting income support, even though nursing is free, about time people in this country wake up and smell the coffee.

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  • i am sickened both by the bigots but also by the liberals.point is this person committed fraud and is therefore not fit to practice whatever her background or reasons for doing it.

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