“Sickie” nurse moonlighted and holidayed in the sun
A NURSE threw sickies from her NHS hospital so she could work for a staff bank – and then boasted on Facebook about enjoying holidays in the Sun.
Diane Barhoumi, a nurse at the Golden Jubilee Hospital, Glasgow, falsely claimed to be ill on 14 occasions.
The 43-year-old repeatedly left colleagues and patients in the lurch so she could rake in a total of £2,000 providing cover for NHS Lanarkshire.
Shortly afterwards, Barhoumi, from Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, enjoyed a sun-kissed foreign holiday and then posted the pictures online.
But Barhoumi’s future in the profession is now in doubt after she was summoned before the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).
At a conduct and competence hearing of the NMC in Edinburgh, Barhoumi sobbed and covered her face as a lawyer said she had been involved in a “lengthy period of dishonesty”.
Barhoumi admitted working for NHS Lanarkshire Bankaide while on sick leave from the Golden Jubilee Hospital on fourteen dates between April 2006 and April 2009.
But she denies that her fitness to practice is now impaired as a result of her misconduct.
NMC solicitor Ian Brown said: “This is a very serious matter and involves a lengthy period of dishonesty.
“She should have been working at her home hospital and was receiving sick pay.
“She was actually working at a different hospital and was carrying out nursing duties and was being paid for that.”
Witness Fiona Lawrie, senior human resources advisor at the Golden Jubilee Hospital, said that she raised the alarm about Barhoumi in May 2009.
She said she “contacted counter-fraud services for advice and asked NHS Lanarkshire for bank shifts from July 2005”.
After examining the payroll, Ms Lawrie added that it became obvious that Barhoumi had “worked for another employee while she was off sick”.
She said Barhoumi had “worked a lot of hours and had earned quite a lot of money” during the three years.
The human resources advisor said the money Barhoumi would have earned for doing extra bank shifts would be in the region of £2000.
Barhoumi began crying before the hearing commenced. She breathed heavily and sobbed as proceedings got underway and had to be escorted from the room before sitting down again with her hands covering her face.
Barhoumi’s Facebook page shows that she was on a foreign holiday – believed to be Tunisia– in early September 2009, just five months after working her last two dishonest shifts on April 19 and 26 that year.
The images show a smart pool complex and a man, believed to be her husband, posing by the Mediterranean.
In September this year, she posted a message on her Facebook page claiming she was finding it hard to settle in at home after a two-week holiday.
On September 27, the nurse posted on her status tab: “Can’t get back into normality after fab 2 week holiday in egypt lazing in sun.”
In December last year, the nurse posted on Facebook: “So fed up with this bloody weather.
“Days like these i have to wonder why i ever left sunny abu dhabi, especially when am on nightshift tonight and no idea how im getting there as street an ice rink!!!”
The case has been adjourned to a later date.
According to a report published in 2000, nearly a third of all nurses were moonlighting in other jobs at the time to boost their incomes.
The report, based on a survey compiled by health union Unison, also revealed that half the moonlighters were shifting as nurses with the NHS while others were working in private hospitals or in non-medical work.
The trend is so popular that there is even a “how to moonlight” guide posted on the internet for nurses wanting to learn how to efficiently double job.
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