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An award winning Scottish nurse has been suspended from practice because she did not disclose 2 drink driving offences to her employers.

The nurse in question, Virginia Murchison had been caught drink driving twice with the offences being 6 days apart.

On the first occasion she was seen coming out of a local shop, getting into her car and starting the ignition. When police officers attended she was breathalysed and found to be twice over the legal limit for drink driving.

On the second occasion, a few days later, she was visited by police officers at home on suspicion that she had been driving whilst over the drink driving limit. She admitted that she had been drink driving and when breathalysed on that occasion was found to be 3 times of the drink driving limit.

Although a disqualification from driving followed, the police reported the matter to her regulator, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Despite repeated requests from the NMC as to her employment and the drink driving offences she failed to respond.

The matter was referred to a NMC panel hearing, whereafter Mrs Murchison was suspended from working as nurse for 12 months.

It is understood that at the time of the offences Miss Murchison’s husband was undergoing treatment for a life threatening illness.

At the panel hearing, the NMC found that this “amounted to a significant departure from the standards to be expected of a registered nurse.”

The panel further reported: “In addition, by breaking the law and failing to bring the matter to the attention of her regulator, the panel considered that

Mrs Murchison had breached a fundamental tenet of the profession by failing to uphold the standards of the profession.”

The report added: “The panel concluded that a striking off order would be disproportionate and was not necessary, as a suspension order would be a sufficient sanction to address the risk of repetition and satisfy the public interest considerations in this case.”

An 18-month interim suspension order has also been made to allow for the possibility of an appeal being brought and determined within 28 days.

Mrs Murchison had received a Better Health Award for the work she undertook with substance abuse for patients and staff at the New Craigs Hospital.


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