Nurse moonlighted at care home while on adoption leave

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A NURSE has admitted taking paid leave to spend time with his adopted child – only to moonlight at a care home.

Steven Lambie faces being struck off after taking adoption leave on 31 separate occasions, during which he was paid 90% of his salary by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

Mr Lambie spent the time doubling up his pay by working shifts at Balclutha Court Care Home in Greenock, Renfrewshire.

On a further 18 occasions he took paid sick leave from his job as a registered nurse to moonlight at the same home.

Mr Lambie – who would have earned in the region of £23,000-a-year as a registered nurse, appeared in front of a disiplinary hearing of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) in Edinburgh this week.

He admitted several charges, including that “you, a registered nurse, undertook shifts at Balclutha Court Care Home on one or more of the dates listed…when you were on paid sick leave and/or adoption leave from your position at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde”.

The charges added that his conduct was “dishonest in that you knew you should not have been claiming sickness pay and/or adoption leave pay…whilst working elsewhere”.

The charges were accompanied by a schedule listing all 49 occasions between April 6 2014 and February 2016 when he cheated his employers.

During the hearing, Mr Lambie said: “I was asked by Balclutha Court Care Home to cover shifts in emergency.

“I was off from NHS with stress. I felt it was difficult to say ‘no’. I know it was wrong but I felt comfortable enough to work there.

“I’ve reflected on it that I need to learn to say ‘no’.”

He added: “I don’t want to be seen as an untrustworthy person. I want to get my trust back again. I am ashamed and embarrassed.”

The case documents also reveal that on one of the dates that he worked at the care home while on sick leave, he committed a string of professional errors.

Steven Lambie faces being struck off after taking adoption leave on 31 separate occasions while still being paid a salary

During the shift at Balclutha Care Home on Jan 30 2016, he incorrectly administered medication to an elderly patient.

On the same day, he also made several other errors regarding medication including falsely claiming to have given residents their required drugs.

Mr Lambie, who describes himself on social media as a keen traveller and having visited six out of the seven wonders of the world, also admitted to failing to inform the NMC that he had been charged with drink driving in June 2016.

He told the hearing that he has since paid back the sick pay he received, putting himself into debt. But he revealed that he had not paid back the adoption leave money, saying he had not been asked to.

Mr Lambie is understood to have adopted a child around the end of 2014.

Today Mr Lambie said: “My charges all relate to a very difficult time in my life and I deeply regret my actions.”

In the UK, employees are entitled to take time off work to adopt a child and can be eligible for Statutory Adoption Pay and Leave.

Employees can take up to 52 weeks’ Statutory Adoption Leave where the first 26 weeks is known as ‘Ordinary Adoption Leave’ the last 26 weeks as ‘Additional Adoption Leave’.

Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) for employees works out at 90% of their gross average weekly earnings for the first 6 weeks and either £140.98 or 90% of their gross average weekly earnings for the next 33 weeks.

The NMC panel will now have to decide if Mr Lambie’s fitness to practice is impaired and, if so, what sanction to impose.

 
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