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Mental health nurse got away with fraudulently working at NHS hospital using fake passport

A MENTAL health nurse got away with fraudulently working at an NHS hospital for over two years and earning £60,000 while using a fake passport.

Ibrahim Abolaji Abdulkareem was struck off the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register last week after the regulatory body was aware of his fraudulent activity.

The 31-year-old was employed by Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust from August 2018 before concerns were raised the following year about his identity.

Sandalwood Court. Swindon, Wiltshire.
Sandalwood Court. Swindon, Wiltshire.

He was subsequently investigated by police and was convicted at the Crown Court in Swindon in December 2020 of having used false documentation to gain employment.

Having not been entitled to work in the UK, it was found that Mr Abdulkareem, living in Wiltshire, had fraudulently received £60,000 in pay over a period of three years.

Last week the NMC ruled that Mr Abdulkareem ‘s fitness to practise had been impaired and struck him off the register.

They said: “This fraudulent act lead to a period of employment that lasted over two years, until an investigation by the immigration authorities identified Mr Abdulkareem’s activities.

“The Trust later confirmed that had the true nature of Mr Abdulkareem’s application been known to it at the time, then it would not have offered him employment.

“The panel concluded Mr Abdulkareem undertook the actions that lead to [using a counterfeit passport] in the full knowledge that what he was doing was dishonest.

“From the evidence before it, the panel considered Mr Abdulkareem’s particular deception to be premeditated, sophisticated and longstanding.

“The panel bore in mind that dishonesty is difficult to remediate and it was of the view that the insight Mr Abdulkareem demonstrated in his reflective statement was extremely limited, in particular there was little consideration demonstrated into the impact his actions would have on his colleagues, patients, the wider public and the reputation of the nursing profession.

“The panel considered that the premeditation that perpetuated this sophisticated act of dishonesty was evidence of a harmful attitudinal problem, and a particularly serious breach of the fundamental tenets of the profession.”

An extract from the Crown Court in Swindon at the time of sentencing read: “This is an unusual case to say the least.

“Applying the fraud guidelines that seem to be the starting point, you by false representation obtained a substantial amount of money, £60,000 over three years from the Avon and Wiltshire National Health Service Trust.

“Had they known of your immigration status, that you were not entitled to work in this country, they would not, I am sure, have employed you.”

The NMC rules that Abdulkareem has shown “extremely limited” insight into his actions and that he had produced no evidence for remediation.

As such the panel decided there was a significant risk of this behaviour being repeated.

On making their decision to remove the nurse from the the register, the NMC concluded: “Having regard to the matters it identified, in particular the effect of Mr Abdulkareem’s actions in bringing the profession into disrepute by adversely affecting the public’s view of how a registered nurse should conduct himself, the panel has concluded that a striking-off order is the only sanction which would be sufficient to maintain standards and confidence in the nursing profession.

“The panel considered that this order was necessary to mark the importance of maintaining public confidence in the profession, and to send to the public and the profession a clear message about the standard of behaviour required of a registered nurse.”

On 9 December 2020 Mr Abdulkareem was convicted at the Crown Court at Swindon of dishonestly making false representation to make a gain for self/another or cause loss to other/expose other to risk contrary to section 2 of the Fraud Act 2006.

Prosecutor George Threlfall told the court that Mr Abdulkareem’s Nigerian passport was with the Home Office when he went for the job at Sandalwood Court in 2016.

His brother’s friend, Alfred Adekoya, a convicted forger, had offered to help him out and provided a forged French passport with Mr Abdulkareem’s photograph on it.

He put the date of birth as June 8, 1987, although the birthdate on Mr Abdulkareem’s Nigeria documents was February 9, 1991.

He pleaded guilty to the criminal offence and was sentenced to 200 hours of community service to be completed before 9 December 2021.

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