Home UK News Sophia Chifamba ‘defrauded NHS of £9k, after being excluded from degree for plagiarism’

Sophia Chifamba ‘defrauded NHS of £9k, after being excluded from degree for plagiarism’

Sophia Chifamba

Sophia Chifamba of Leeds, LS10, a Registered Nurse with Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust which is inclusive of hospitals such as Leed’s Children’s Hospital, was convicted of fraud and sentenced to a community order. She has now been struck off after a misconduct hearing that spanned August 7-8, held by the Nurse and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Sophia Chifamba pled guilty at Leeds Magistrates Court to fraud, contrary to sections (1) and (2) of the Fraud Act, after pocketing nearly £9,000 by falsely claiming she completed shifts that she was aware she did not complete.

Between July 2018 and September 2019, REED recruiting agency noticed their ‘staff bank’ roster recorded that Chifamba did not attend several shifts, yet the Trust’s nursing agency, 24/7 Nursing, had those same shifts recorded as ‘completed and signed’ by Chifamba. She was paid £8,814.49 for these shifts.

The Trust noted that this was conduct was premeditated, systematic, and over a prolonged period of time. The court sentenced Chifamba to 150 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay compensation of only £1,000 after describing her family’s financial issues, but the NMC decided that she had to be struck off the Register.

Chifamba may haveworked at Leeds Teaching Hospital
St James’s University Hospital is part of Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust (Image: Megan Banner)

The NMC cited her previous academic issues. Chifamba was originally training at the University of Leeds but she was formally accused of academic malpractice, such as plagiarism, on multiple occasions, and this forced her to relocate to the University of Huddersfield. Chifamba explained that she struggled with the time constrains of her course.

Students ordinarily fund their studies with NHS bursaries, but due to her academic malpractice and exclusions she was not eligible for the bursary, and Chifamba claimed this placed her in financial difficulty.

The NMC considered her patterns of dishonesty in making a determination of her suitability to remain on the Register.

University of Leeds
The NMC considered her exclusion from the University of Leeds (Image: Wikidata)

The NMC stressed that this is a serious crime, particularly because it leaves hospitals understaffed and thus impacts the quality of patient care and delays services.

Chifamba’s removal from the Register means she will be prevented from working as a registered nurse, midwife, or nursing associate. It is the most serious sanction available within the NMC’s power.

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