Friday, 19 April, 2024
HomeMedico-LegalSA nurse in UK fakes husband's death, struck off the roll

SA nurse in UK fakes husband's death, struck off the roll

A South African nurse has been struck off Britain’s medical roll after claiming her husband had died so she could claim a £400,000 life insurance payout.

She maintained the claim for more than a year before it was discovered her husband, also a nurse, was alive and well and working at Charing Cross Hospital.

Thulile Bhebhe, 52, told insurers Aviva that her partner, Bekezela Bhebhe, had suffered a pulmonary embolism while holidaying in Zimbabwe in August 2016.

Mother-of-two Bhebhe, who had studied and worked in the UK for 14 years, was employed by the NHS Direct phone services when she decided to forge her husband’s death certificate. In September 2016, she sent Aviva a medical certificate from a hospital in Zimbabwe claiming her husband had died on 9 August.

The fraud was uncovered when Aviva investigators probed the claim in January 2017, after phoning her husband’s workplace and hearing he had, in fact, completed a shift on the very same day.

Although it was later discovered that the couple was in “dire financial straits, owing tens of thousands of pounds in credit card debts, loans and tax”, her husband was cleared after a judge ruled there was no evidence he knew about her fraudulent activity. She, however, was sentenced to 24 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, in March last year.

Then just three weeks later, she lied about her criminal conviction on a McMillian Healthcare application. She subsequently took a job with Bristol NHS Trust just a day after attending a Nursing and Midwifery Council hearing in which she was made subject to an interim suspension order while the regulator probed her conviction.

Bhebhe worked 35 shifts over two months for the trust before internal checks found she was working illegally while on suspension.

Daily Mail reports that after a Nursing and Midwifery misconduct hearing on 27 May, she has now been struck off the medical register, the panel concluding her actions were “significant departures from the standards expected of a registered nurse and fundamentally incompatible with remaining on the register”.


Daily Mail article – Mother-of-two nurse, 52, who claimed husband had died in 'audacious' bid to claim his £400,000 life insurance is struck off after registering to work while suspended due to fraud probe (Open access)


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