NHS England director backs tighter recruitment checks

  • Claire Murdoch considering asking trusts to look at their recruitment processes
  • Has tightened checks at her own trust after discovering it had employed a nurse previously disciplined by NMC
  • Nurse was disciplined for falsifying the care plan of Matthew Leahy, who died in 2012

NHS England’s national director for mental health is considering asking trusts to look at their recruitment processes, after discovering her own trust had hired a nurse who previously falsified a care plan.

In correspondence, seen by HSJ, Claire Murdoch explained how she had introduced an additional recruitment safeguard at the trust where she is chief executive, Central and North West London Mental Health Foundation Trust.

She suggested she had also thought about “asking other NHS Trusts to look at their appointments processes”.

Ms Murdoch said she had implemented stricter processes at the organisation where she is chief executive, Central and North West London Mental Health Foundation Trust.

The trust recently found out that Naushad Nojeeb, who it had hired as a matron, was disciplined by the Nursing and Midwifery Council in 2015 for falsifying the care plan of Matthew Leahy, a young boy who died in an Essex mental health unit.

In her email, Ms Murdoch wrote: “Generally my trust has good, solid, processes and if this happened at CNWL, then it could happen anywhere.”

She added she was planning to discuss the issue with NMC chief executive Andrea Sutcliffe. 

A CNWL spokesman told HSJ all candidates were now required to complete an employment declaration form, which requires them to disclose:

  • Any convictions they may have;
  • If they have been subject to police investigation;
  • Whether they have been dismissed; and
  • Whether they have been subject to action by a professional body.

Should a candidate tick yes to any of the above, the appointment must then be reviewed by a director. Previously, only candidates which showed convictions on their Disclosure and Barring Service check required a director’s review.

Last month, HSJ reported United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust had decided to stop hiring locum doctors who were subject to restrictions on their practice, after a non-executive director “raised concerns about the high number of doctors in the trust with [General Medical Council] restrictions”. At the time the concern was raised, the trust had nine locum doctors with GMC restrictions. 

Failures related to Mr Leahy’s death have been highlighted in a report from the Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman, published earlier this year. Mr Leahy was found hanging in North Essex University Partnership FT’s Linden Centre in November 2012.

His mother, Melanie Leahy, has petitioned for a public inquiry. This has been backed by several MPs, including Labour MP Barbara Keeley, Liberal Democrat MP and former health minister Sir Norman Lamb, and home secretary Priti Patel.

Credit: By Rebecca Thomashttps://www.hsj.co.uk/workforce/nhs-england-director-backs-tighter-recruitment-checks/7026068.article

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