A ZIMBABWEAN nurse has been suspended from practising as a nurse in the United Kingdom after admitting stealing money from a patient with mental health problems.
Jean Chipo Mberi, of Wellingborough near Northampton, admitted using her patient’s bank card to withdraw over £500 on numerous occasions between November last year and February this year.
After accepting a police caution, Mberi faces a misconduct charge before the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) which has imposed an 18-month interim suspension order pending a full investigation.
Mberi is believed to have left the UK for Australia, but the case will proceed in her absence. She faces being struck off the nursing register.
A March 14 hearing of the NMC heard how Mberi – who was deputy ward manager at St Andrews Hospital in Northampton – abused the trust of a patient to obtain their pin number before the withdrawals over a period of four months.
She admitted the theft to both her employer and the police. The hospital terminated her employment on February 24 for “gross misconduct”.
In imposing the suspension order, the NMC said it considered the hardship that may befall Mberi.
It said in its ruling: “The panel... concluded that with such allegations of dishonesty, no conditions could be formulated which would adequately protect the public or safeguard the standards of the profession.
“Therefore, a suspension order is both necessary and proportionate.
“The panel considered the hardship which such an order may cause but concluded that the public interest outweighed the interest of Ms Mberi in this respect.”
If she is struck off the nursing register at the conclusion of the investigations, Mberi would not be able to practise as a nurse in Australia where she moved with her boyfriend early this month.