Wednesday 18 May 2011

A Birmingham health worker is struck off after phoning in sick from prison

A BIRMINGHAM hospital medic has been struck off for pretending she was off sick when she was in prison for driving offences.

Victoria Garbett, an NHS operating department practitioner, failed to tell managers at Birmingham Women's Hospital that she was involved in criminal proceedings and phoned in ill instead, a disciplinary hearing was told. Two weeks after being jailed for eight months for repeatedly driving while disqualified, Garbett then left a voicemail message with bosses saying she was "off sick" and that she would return on June 8 even though she was in prison, the Health Professions Council (HPC) heard.

Bosses at the hospital, in Edgbaston, later dismissed Garbett for gross misconduct.

Garbett did not attend the conduct hearing by the HPC, which found her guilty of dishonesty and misconduct.

She had sent a fax asking for another adjournment saying she had a cracked rib from an accident.

Last November, the case was adjourned because Garbett said her son was ill.

Colin Allies, chairman of the HPC disciplinary panel, said: "Striking off is a sanction of last resort for serious, deliberate or reckless acts involving abuse of trust, dishonesty or persistent misconduct."

"Striking off is the only appropriate sanction in this case."

Garbett was jailed in April 2009 when she was convicted of three counts of driving while disqualified along with three counts of driving without insurance, failing to surrender to police and committing a further offence while on a suspended sentence.

She had earlier been sentenced to two months' jail, suspended for two years, for driving while disqualified at Birmingham Magistrates' Court in August 2008. And Garbett was also fined £350 and £75 costs when convicted of failing to comply with a void car tax disc due to a dishonoured cheque at Sutton Coldfield Magistrates' Court in May 2009.

Julie Matheson, representing the HPC, told the hearing: "Garbett's conduct was dishonest in relation to the information provided to her employer."

"Consequently, she was dismissed for gross misconduct."

Source: Birmingham Mail Alison Dayani


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The Operating Theatre Journal, OTJ, is published monthly and distributed to every hospital operating theatre department in the UK. The distribution includes both the National Health Service and the Private Sector.

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