Former paramedic struck off care register over Malta nursing 'fraud'

Joseph Morley falsely registered as a nurse on Malta with a degree from an 'unaccredited' university before attempting to join its UK equivalent.

Former paramedic Joseph Morley sacked as care home manager and struck off register over Malta nursing ‘fraud’ Google Maps
Morley had been manager of Thorney Croft care home in Stranraer before the SSSC investigation.

A former paramedic who duped a Mediterranean government into enrolling him as a nurse using a qualification from an unapproved university has been struck off the Scottish care register for a “pattern of dishonesty”.

Joseph Morley concealed details of the incident that saw him removed from the Health and Care Professionals Council (HCPC) in 2013 before using a “life experience” diploma to be verified as a nurse by the Maltese health ministry.

He later became manager of elderly care facility Thorney Croft in Stranraer, then managed by Community Integrated Care (CIC), but bosses discovered he lied about his birth date and withheld information on his previous career.

An investigation by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) uncovered Morley had also attempted to join the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) in the UK by falsely claiming he had trained in Malta.

The Council for Nurses and Midwives in the island nation later found Morley’s qualification from Sheffield State University was “unapproved and unverified” and booted him off the official register.

He was said to have “failed to demonstrate meaningful insight, regret or apology” for his actions during the SSSC probe and did not contest the removal order placed on him by the watchdog.

Details of the incident that saw Morley removed from the HCPC in 2013 were redacted in the report but are understood to centre on his time as a self-employed paramedic with Blue Star Medical Services in the North East of England.

He applied to join the Council for Nurses and Midwives in Malta two years later with a qualification from Sheffield State University, which claims to offer “accredited life experience degree [sic] which have international acceptability”.

The Higher Education Degree Datacheck – the UK’s official academic verification body – said the institution “did not award recognised UK degrees,” making it ineligible to be used as proof of training to become a registered medical practitioner.

In 2018, Morley joined the SSSC register, but did not disclose his previous membership of regulatory bodies in either Malta or the UK. The SSSC found the birthdate on his application was also “inaccurate”.

He was removed from the Maltese register in November 2020 when his “fraudulent” activity was discovered, but did not disclose this to employers CIC at the time.

A CIC spokesperson said “all necessary internal and external” checks on Morely’s eligibility to work were carried out prior to him being appointed as manager of the home.

He was officially struck off the SSSC register on June 8 following the investigation which concluded in April.

A report stated his “dishonest misconduct constituted a long-term pattern of behaviour”.

The Maltese health ministry did not respond when contacted for comment by STV News.

Park Homes took charge of Thorney Croft from CIC in October 2021, however Morley had already been sacked from his position before the change in Ownership.

A spokesperson for CIC said: “Community Integrated Care employed Joseph Morley after conducting all necessary internal and external eligibility to work checks. 

“We were subsequently made aware that the SSSC had discovered that Mr Morley had submitted false information to them. We took immediate action, which resulted in Mr Morley leaving CIC’s employment.

“We welcome the robust action taken by the SSSC in ensuring that everyone working within the Scottish social care workforce meets the professional standards expected of them.”