Nurse did not admit conviction

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A NURSE who failed to tell hospital bosses he had been convicted for possessing an imitation firearm has been handed a caution for professional misconduct.

Andrew Briggs, a staff nurse at Chesterfield Hospital since 1998, did not tell managers he was convicted at Sheffield Crown Court in July 2007, the Nursing and Midwifery Council heard.

The court had given him a 39-week suspended sentence and ordered him to pay £500 compensation, after he was convicted of possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

The NMC previously ruled the conviction impaired his fitness to practise and handed him a 60-month caution in December 2008.

But Briggs was summoned back to the council’s Conduct and Competence Committee because he did not tell Chesterfield Hospital about the conviction, or the subsequent professional caution.

The hospital became aware of the conviction only in January 2009 when the NMC sent out a circular notice listing its rulings.

Briggs told the council that in retrospect he should have told the trust - but at the time he was facing ‘difficult issues in his life’.

The council panel, chaired by Dr Pamela Ormerod, ruled Briggs had a ‘clear duty’ to disclose his conviction and caution. They said his failure to comply amounted to ‘serious professional misconduct’ and ‘a fundamental tenet of the profession of openness and integrity had been breached’.

But they dismissed charges of dishonesty, handing the nurse a second caution to last three years.