An award winning nurse in Scotland has been suspended from her duties owing to not informing her employers of being caught drink driving, not once but twice in 6 days.
In 2009 the nurse, Virginia Murchison had won the Better Health Award for her work on substance abuse with patients and staff at New Craigs Hospital.
However, on 1 April 2016 a panel of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) suspended her for 12 months as she had not disclosed the driving convictions, nor had she responded to any requests from the NMC for information.
It is understood that on 19 April 2014 she was convicted of 2 drink driving offences that took place on 12 and 18 of the same month.
The first offence was when she was spotted by a shop getting into her car with a bottle of wine and starting the engine. The police attended and when she was breathalysed she was found to be twice over the legal limit for driving.
On the second occasion police seem to have been tipped off as they came to her house as they had suspected her to have been recently driving over the limit. She immediately admitted that she had and when breathalysed was found to have been 3 times over the limit for drink driving.
On 31 December 2014, the police referred the matter of her convictions to the NMC who then began to make their own investigations, culminating in the recent panel hearing.
At the panel hearing, the NMC found that this “amounted to a significant departure from the standards to be expected of a registered nurse.”
The NMC made a number of requests to her between February 17 and July 29 2015 for more information and details of her employment. She never responded to any of those requests.
“In addition, by breaking the law and failing to bring the matter to the attention of her regulator, the panel considered that
Mrs Murchison had breached a fundamental tenet of the profession by failing to uphold the standards of the profession.”
The report added: “The panel concluded that a striking off order would be disproportionate and was not necessary, as a suspension order would be a sufficient sanction to address the risk of repetition and satisfy the public interest considerations in this case.”
An 18-month interim suspension order has also been made to allow for the possibility of an appeal being brought and determined within 28 days.
Although Mrs Murchison declined to comment to the press it is understood that at the time of the offences her husband was undergoing treatment for a life threatening illness.
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