Dishonest therapist allowed to keep working
A psychotherapist who charged vulnerable NHS patients for treatment they should have received for free has been allowed to keep working.
Anthony Carroll pocketed up to £45 for each session, made during NHS hours while working for Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust.
He offered one woman "five sessions for the price of four" because he charged more for one home visit than she earned in a week.
The waiting time for psychotherapy on the NHS was between nine and 18 months, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) heard.
A conduct and competence committee determined Carroll's actions amounted to misconduct. They imposed restrictions on him working.
Imposing a five-year caution order, panel chairman Brian Yates said: "Honesty and integrity are central to a nurse's practice.
"In addition, accurate record keeping is a fundamental component of delivering safe and adequate care.
"The panel acknowledges at the time of the incidents, you felt you were under a high amount of pressure and you were dealing with difficult personal circumstances.
"However, the panel is of the view that the public would expect someone of your level of experience to act openly and honestly and to ensure your record keeping was accurate.
"The panel noted that your misconduct was not isolated in nature and instead, it occurred over a sustained period of time. It also involved repeated acts of dishonesty."
Barry Dooley, representing the NMC, said Carroll knew that he should not have been providing private care during NHS time.
He added that Carroll had been writing the visits down as "NHS contact hours" in a bid to cover his tracks.
Carroll admitted dishonestly providing private treatment to four patients but was cleared of charging a fifth for home visits.
Carroll was allowed to keep working, but was sacked from the Leicestershire Partnership Trust following the incidents.
Martin Fahy, head of community mental health services at the trust, said: "As soon as we were alerted to this issue we immediately suspended Mr Carroll and fully investigated the claims. Mr Carroll no longer works for us.
"We take fraud and dishonesty claims such as this very seriously and will always investigate. I would like to apologise to all service users and their families who were affected."