700 Nigerian NHS Nurses Could Be Under-Qualified After Testing Scam

In a new report, it’s been revealed that up to 700 nurses on the frontlines of UK hospitals were fraudulently tested in Nigeria, resulting in a lack of qualification for the job.

NHS Workers Under Investigation

More than 700 frontline NHS workers might be treating patients while under investigation for alleged qualifications fraud described as ‘industrial-scale.’

Nurses and midwives aiming to work in the UK must go through a rigorous assessment process, including a computer-based test (CBT) and a practical examination. NHS patients now face challenges as the dismissal of workers could see delays in appointments previously scheduled.

Nursing and Midwifery Council Alert

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) say that unauthorized Nigerian nurses underwent CBT at Yunnik Test Centre in Nigeria, which is obligatory to achieve legal working status in the UK as a nurse. 

According to the NMC, tests were being completed “statistically significantly quicker” at the Yunnik Testing Centre, resulting in concerns being flagged.

According to the findings, the test centre assessed 48 nurses and midwives previously under investigation for fraudulent practices.

A Worrying Time for NHS

“It’s very, very worrying if … there’s an organization that’s involving themselves in fraudulent activity, enabling nurses to bypass these tests, or if they are using surrogates to do exams for them,” admitted ex-NHS Trust Chair Peter Carter.

Carter argued that the patients are at risk, “the implication is that we end up in the UK with nurses who aren’t competent,” Carter said.

Majority of Checked Applications Face Rejection

Out of the 80 applications reviewed so far, the NMC has rejected the vast majority, indicating potential widespread issues in the qualifications of these individuals.

“We have concerns that 48 people already on the register obtained their test result fraudulently,” said NMC Chief Executive Andrea Sutcliffe.

Carter’s Praise for NMC

Carter hailed the NMC for rejecting the applications “to protect the quality of care and patient safety and the reputation of nurses.”

The NMC said they were rejected due to “serious concerns” and added that “even with a new CBT there remains character concerns given what happened at Yunnik and what the data appeared to show about these individuals.”

Frauds Working as Healthcare Assistants

Despite the rejection of applications, qualified nurses and midwives from Nigeria are reportedly working in the NHS and care homes, taking care of specialized medical tasks.

“We’ll hold hearings where an independent panel will decide whether those individuals gained fraudulent entry to our register. If so, they’re likely to be removed from the register,” Sutcliffe insisted.

Sutcliffe admitted that there are 669 more nurses that they believe to be fraudulent, “There are 669 applicants to the register about whom we have the same fraud concerns,” she said.

All Results from Yunnik Site Declared Invalid

As a consequence of the fraud findings, the NMC deemed all results from the Yunnik site invalid, affecting 515 professionals on the NMC register.

“Those in charge at this center have exploited the hope of workers wanting to nurse in the UK and left our members in a desperate situation,” said Scotland secretary for GBM Louise Gilmour.

“The profession’s high standards of integrity must be enforced, but these aspiring nurses were badly advised, firstly, to enrol at this centre and then give questionable accounts of what happened there,” Gilmour continued.

Gilmour Requests Retake

Gilmour argued that those already working in the UK “should be given another chance and allowed to work if they pass the necessary tests in the UK.”

If a nurse was linked to the test centre but already has a job on the frontline of UK hospitals, they will not be revoked but will be ordered to retake the test in more trusting settings.

The post 700 Nigerian NHS Nurses Could Be Under-Qualified After Testing Scam first appeared on Pulse365 Limited.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Dragos Condrea. 

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