An NHS nurse who was convicted as part of a £750,000 “crash for cash” insurance scam has been struck off for a year.
Nicola Bartlett, 50, of Bargoed, was sacked from her job at Ystrad Mynach’s Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr when the truth came out she had faked crash injuries to claim a £16,764 insurance payout – including compensation.
Bartlett had claimed another driver ploughed into her car in Newport, writing off the vehicle and injuring both her and her brother who was a passenger in 2010.
But police had already began investigating the garage which wrote off her “damaged” vehicle.
The four-year probe into Easifix garage in Blackwood found it had helped stage 28 fraudulent crashes to collect pay-outs totalling £750,000 between 2009 and 2011.
The garage fraudsters were caught out by their own CCTV cameras showing a Land Rover being deliberately driven into a forklift truck. Bartlett of Bargoed, was charged with conspiracy to defraud and found guilty by a jury at Cardiff Crown Court in December 2015.
Judge Daniel Williams told her: “You lied to your insurers, and you persisted in those lies at trial. By then, of course, you were trapped in the lies that you had told before.
“You were unable to confront the truth because of the consequences to you and your career.
After the trial she was sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment suspended for two years, ordered to complete 250 hours of community service, and told to repay £1,350.
Hospital bosses sacked her for bringing her profession into disrepute. Since then she has worked as a care support worker in a private nursing home.
But a professional misconduct hearing in Cardiff was told earlier this month Bartlett plans on returning to the nursing profession when her suspended prison term ends in January 2018.
In a letter to the Nursing and Midwifery Council, Bartlett wrote: “I am fully aware and conscious of the seriousness a conviction has on the nursing profession.
“I am ashamed of the conviction before me which will stay on my record forever. Any future employer will know about this and I will need to explain myself.
“Upon reflection I have accepted responsibility for my actions and have developed a plan to ensure that I do not make similar poor decisions again.
“This conviction has had such an impact on my life and has also brought the nursing profession into disrepute.
“I agree that a nurse serving a sentence should not practice until the sentence is complete.
“However once my sentence is complete I believe I possess a vast range of knowledge, skills and many positive qualities to offer the nursing profession, which is evidence in the numerous favourable supportive personal and professional character references.”
Panel chair Paul Morris said Bartlett’s colleagues had written character references describing her as a “competent, dedicated and hardworking Emergency Nurse.”
Bartlett was struck off for a year banning her from working as a registered nurse until May 2018.