By Neil Pooran
A NURSE handed hospital bosses a fake death certificate for her own daughter, a hearing was told today.
Jean Dempster is charged with presenting “official documents to the hospital which you had falsified”, including photocopies of the girl’s birth and death certificates.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) also heard the Glasgow-based nurse claimed her daughter – referred to as Ms B – was in intensive care when there was no record of admission.
Ms Dempster, who worked at Gartnavel Hospital, faces four charges of misconduct between December 2009 and June 2010 and could be struck off.
The nurse was not present or represented at today’s hearing in Edinburgh and there was no public explanation of her alleged actions.
An expert witness told the disciplinary panel today that the certificates presented by the nurse were not genuine.
Brenda Dickie, who has been the Registrar for West Dunbartonshire council for eight years, was asked to examine the death certificate.
She said: “I believe the document is not authentic.
“The death certificate was registered in the Vale of Leven. This is no longer a registration district of Scotland and has been amalgamated.
“Vale of Leven would therefore not appear on a death certificate for a death in 2010.”
She added: “‘Schoolgirl’ has been used to identify occupation. No registrar would use ‘schoolgirl’ for a person under 16 years.
“The occupation box would be left blank.”
If the death certificate had genuinely been completed in 2010, it would also have been completed by computer, she said.
The birth certificate for Ms B was also not genuine, Ms Dickie said.
She explained: “There is a date on the top left hand corner [on the birth certificate] which displays 1861-1965.
“Any birth registered on this certificate should have taken place between these dates but 1996 has been entered as the year of birth.”
Ms Dempster is first charged with saying her daughter was in intensive care when there was no record of her being admitted.
The second charge says she told someone else her daughter had died when then there was no record of this.
A third charge says she submitted birth and death certificates to the hospital for her daughter which she had falsified.
A fourth claims her actions were dishonest.
Case presenter Yusuf Segovia said that in correspondence before the hearing, Ms Dempster admitted the first two charges.
Mr Segovia read from an email in which the nurse said:”I did provide birth and death certificates but I did not falsify documents.
“I was not deliberately dishonest and did not mean to be so because I was keeping a confidence.”
Mr Segovia said another witness present would “give a clear overview as to the background of the case”.
But the panel decided to take the witness’s evidence in private, despite press objections, on grounds of confidentiality.
The hearing continues.