Nurse asked Northampton mum whose child was in hospice to lie for her

Hopson was an NHS band 6
Hopson was an NHS band 6

An NHS nurse has been struck off for causing distress to a Northampton family who she asked to cover up a falsified appointment.

Claire Hopson was working for NHS Nene as an assessor of children's needs when she was assigned to the family of a Northampton child who was being cared for at Rainbows Hospice, in Loughborough.

Her work diary showed she had an appointment at the family home on October 26, 2017 but an NHS Nene manager discovered it had not taken place.

Further enquiries established that the family had been at the hospice throughout the day in question. But when the manager questioned her, Hopson pretended that the mum had was confused and had forgotten about their meeting.

Later, Hopson called the mum and asked her to lie to the NHS manager and say Hopson had met with the dad alone.

Giving evidence, the mum said: "“I told Claire that [the manager] had asked me if we had met with her on 26 October 2017 to which I had responded that, we had not.

"Claire then responded with words to the effect of 'you have dropped me in it'.

"She asked if I had been specific as to which members of the family were at Rainbows Hospice, to which I replied that I had used the word “we”.

"Claire then asked me to say to anybody asking for further details about the appointment to say that whilst I had not met with Claire, Claire had met with [the dad]."

After Hopson told the manager her new version of events, the trust became suspicious and uncovered what had happened, referring the nurse to the NMC.

A panel of the Nursing and Midwifery Council has now found Hopson’s dishonesty to have been "extremely serious" and heard evidence how much distress this caused to the family

Chair of the panel Janet Leonard said: "The panel determined that Mrs Hopson, by asking Parent A to lie on her behalf and involving Parent B into her narrative of untruths, deliberately breached her professional duty of candour and took advantage of Parent A and B, who were vulnerable at the time.

"The panel had no evidence of remorse whatsoever from Mrs Hopson for her actions, which it finds concerning, given the impact her actions had on both Parent A and Parent B."

Mrs Hopson’s role required her to complete eligibility assessments, which are then presented to funding panels so that healthcare packages can be arranged and funded.

The tribunal panel decided that a striking off order was the only proper sanction, which means Hopson, who resigned in December 2017 due to ill health, can no longer practise as a nurse.