The Nursing and Midwifery Council issued a caution to a nurse who was caught drinking and driving after police saw her driving suspiciously (NMC).
Natalie Louise Robinson was convicted of drunk driving on October 25 of last year at Teesside Magistrates’ Court after consuming four gins before getting behind the wheel of her BMW.
The district nurse from Ingleby Barwick, North Yorkshire, was apprehended by police when drivers beeping at her alerted them to her BMW’s slow driving around a roundabout.
Her breath contained 143 micrograms of alcohol per 100 milliliters. Legal age restriction is 35.
After pleading guilty to drunk driving, the 43-year-old woman was given an eight-week suspended prison sentence and a two-year driving prohibition. She did not have any prior convictions.
During the court case, it was asserted that Ms. Robinson used alcohol as a “coping technique” following a “abusive relationship.” In addition, it was asserted that her work as a district nurse during the coronavirus pandemic caused her to experience “extreme emotional stress.”
According to a report, Ms. Robinson attended an NMC misconduct hearing last month after self-referring herself to the regulating body.
The report indicates that she has finished training and returned to full-time nursing work following the court case.
She apologized to the NMC panel, expressing that she was “appalled” by her behavior and promising that it would never happen again.
Following the hearing, she was issued a one-year caution order. The order assures that Ms. Robinson’s name will appear on the NMC register and indicate that she is subject to a caution order; anyone inquiring about her registration will be notified.
The report adds, “The panel has found that issuing a one-year caution order is the most suitable and reasonable action.”
“For a period of one year, your employer or future employers will be notified that your fitness to practice has been deemed impaired.
Not only will the caution order emphasize the significance of maintaining public confidence in the profession, but it will also convey a clear message to the public and the profession regarding the standards expected of a registered nurse.
The assessment added that Ms. Robinson’s suspension from the NMC register would be unfair and harsh if a suspension order was issued.
The report noted, “In view of its conclusions that your fitness to practice is impaired primarily on public interest grounds, and taking into account your understanding, remediation efforts, and minimal risk of repeat, the panel found that a suspension order would be disproportionate and punitive.”
According to the panel, the public interest does not require your suspension from the NMC registry.
The panel decided that the public interest necessitates the unrestricted practice of an otherwise safe and qualified practitioner.
“In reaching its conclusion, the panel took into account the fact that you have been working full-time as a registered nurse for the past six months without any issues with your practice. It took into account your colleague’s remark that “[you are] able to communicate knowledge, [compassion], and empathy.”
Your colleague also believes that losing Natalie at such a crucial moment would be a big loss for the service and nursing as a whole.
Typically, practitioners are not permitted to return to work until their suspended sentence has been completed, however in Ms. Robinson’s case, the NMC decided to allow her to return to work.
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