A care home nurse from East Dunbartonshire has been suspended for six months after he submitted a forged reference for a PhD application at Edinburgh university.
David Muza had been working at Springvale Care Home in Lennoxtown on January 30, 2021 when he submitted a document to the University of Edinburgh as a reference in support of his application to two PhD programmes.
On February 18, the home’s former night nurse manager, who had purportedly written and signed the reference, discovered the email sent to the university from the home’s generic email address.
They then confronted Muza, who then admitted he had forged the reference, and tendered his resignation.
At a fitness to practise hearing, a Nursing and Midwifery Council committee found Muza had shown some remorse for his actions, but still claimed to be an honest person despite admitting his dishonesty.
The committee added that Muza, who at the time of the hearing was working as a bank nurse for an agency, had “not demonstrated a real understanding of why you acted as you did, why it was so serious, or how you would prevent yourself from acting in a similar way in future”.
Muza told the panel that he had acted impulsively, though this was rejected after stating that the act of sending the reference appeared pre-planned as he had waited to send the email on a night in which the night nurse manager had been off.
Concerns were also raised that Muza had not told his current employer of the proceedings which they said demonstrated a “lack of transparency”.
Concluding the hearing, the panel wrote: “The panel determined that a finding of impairment on wider public interest grounds is required because a well-informed member of the public would expect a nurse facing such allegations, particularly relating to dishonesty, to have their fitness to practise found impaired.
“The panel concluded that public confidence in the profession would be undermined if a finding of impairment were not made in this case and therefore finds your fitness to practise impaired on the wider public interest grounds. Having regard to all of the above, the panel was satisfied that your fitness to practise is currently impaired.”
Muza has been suspended from the NMC register for six months.
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