Nurse who stole from pa­tient in coma blamed ‘African curse’

Birmingham Post - - NEWS - Ali­son Stacey Health Cor­re­spon­dent

ABIRMINGHAM ca­su­alty nurse who stole a pa­tient’s debit card as he lay in a coma claimed an African hol­i­day “curse” was to blame.

Daniel Ncazana, a for­mer A&E nurse at the Queen El­iz­a­beth Hos­pi­tal, ad­mit­ted steal­ing the pa­tient’s debit card and us­ing it eight times to buy items at Greggs, a BP garage and Sports Di­rect.

The 50-year-old pleaded guilty to two charges of theft and fraud at Birm­ing­ham Mag­is­trates in Au­gust 2017, and was jailed for six months.

Now, he has been struck off the nurs­ing reg­is­ter fol­low­ing a Nurs­ing and Mid­wifery Coun­cil hear­ing.

The hear­ing heard how the vic­tim, re­ferred to as Pa­tient A, was ad­mit­ted to the Queen El­iz­a­beth Hos­pi­tal on Novem­ber 6, 2016, af­ter be­ing found un­con­scious at the bot­tom of a flight of stairs at home.

The man re­mained in a coma at the hos­pi­tal, but four weeks later his fam­ily dis­cov­ered his bank card had been used while he was un­con­scious and they con­tacted the po­lice.

The Post’s sis­ter paper the Birm­ing­ham Mail pub­lished a CCTV pic­ture of a man be­lieved to be us­ing the stolen card, and po­lice were in­un­dated with calls iden­ti­fy­ing Ncazana. He handed him­self in af­ter col­leagues told him about the ap­peal.

But in a writ­ten re­sponse to the charges, thiev­ing Ncazena tried to de­fend his be­hav­iour, claim­ing his ac­tions were due to a “curse whilst I was on hol­i­day in Oc­to­ber back in South Africa”.

Su­san Hurds, chair­man at the NMC hear­ing, said: “The panel had re­gard to Mr Ncazana’s rea­son­ing that he has been one of the ‘pil­lars of the emer­gency depart­ment through the dif­fi­cult times’ and that ‘even my line man­ager can tes­tify for me…’

“How­ever, there was no doc­u­men­ta­tion that sup­ported these claims.

“The panel de­ter­mined that Mr Ncazana’s re­sponse to the charges lacked any kind of in­sight into his ac­tions and failed to recog­nise the ef­fect that they had on Pa­tient A’s fam­ily or the nurs­ing pro­fes­sion as a whole.

“Fur­ther, it de­ter­mined that, de­spite be­ing out of prison for some time, Mr Ncazana had not pre­pared a re­flec­tive piece re­lat­ing to his ac­tions, and was of the view that he only handed him­self into the po­lice when it was clear that he had very lit­tle other choice.”

The panel went on to say that any rea­son­able mem­ber of the pub­lic would be ap­palled by his ac­tions, and that he had abused his po­si­tion of trust to tar­get a vul­ner­a­ble pa­tient for fi­nan­cial gain.

Ncazana was given a strik­ing-off or­der and made sub­ject of an 18-month in­terim sus­pen­sion or­der to al­low him to ap­peal against the de­ci­sion.

A spokesman for Univer­sity Hos­pi­tals Birm­ing­ham NHS Foun­da­tion Trust said: “The in­di­vid­ual has not been em­ployed by the Trust since April 2017. We fully sup­port the de­ci­sions of both the court and the NMC.”

> Daniel Ncazana worked as an A&E nurse when he stole from a pa­tient in a coma

> Queen El­iz­a­beth Hos­pi­tal where Ncazana worked

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