Disgraced Hampshire Nurse Sturck Off After Deception Row

An NHS Direct nurse from Hampshire has been kicked out of nursing for failing to uphold the honesty and integrity of her profession.

Alison Rooke, 52, was struck off the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s register of nurses after the council decided she had brought shame on her profession.

Rooke, from Eastleigh, was found guilty of obtaining property by deception last year and this week it emerged that she had previous convictions for dishonesty as well.

advertisementThe Nursing and Midwifery Council ordered that Rooke, who gives advice to patients on the NHS Direct telephone hotline, should now be kicked out of the profession.

Rooke was working as a midwife for Southampton University Hospital NHS Trust and as a bank nurse for Southampton Commun-ity NHS Trust in 1995 when it emerged she was falsifying invoices for overtime.

She claimed an extra £5,500 for work she had not done and was convicted of ten counts of obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception at Southampton Magistrates’ Court in November 1995.

Rooke was given a 12-month probation order as punishment but she did not tell her professional body about the conviction and continued working as a nurse.

Nearly a decade on in February 2005 Rooke was spotted by a store detective in a branch of Marks and Spencer in Southampton, said Salim Hafejee, for the NMC. He said Rooke took items including two ties, a shirt and a pair of shoes from the shelves then tried to exchange them as though they were goods she had bought earlier to pocket £72.

But she was arrested after a store detective intervened and although she denied the charges, she was found guilty by a jury at Portsmouth Crown Court in February last year and fined £500 and ordered to pay £800 costs.

At a hearing this week Rooke admitted the facts of both convictions and also admitted that her fitness to practise as a nurse was impaired. Mr Hafejee said the convictions represented “a clear breach of the NMC code of conduct”.

He added: “Honesty and integrity has to be an integral part of any registrant’s approach to life.”

The panel agreed and struck off Rooke, adding an interim suspension order that will ban her from working as a nurse immediately.

Panel chairman Elizabeth Rush said: “The panel does not accept that Mrs Rooke has made any genuine expressions of regret or apology. The public is entitled to expect that every registrant be honest and trustworthy. They must behave in a way that upholds the reputation of the profession.”