Policy change over employing offenders

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The Independent Online
The Royal College of Nursing is today expected to call for rules preventing serious criminal offenders practising as nurses after a convicted rapist was allowed to resume his career.

The college is already taking legal action to overturn last month's decision by the United Kingdom Central Council on Nursing, the nurses' disciplinary body, which decided to readmit Yuen How Choy.

Mr Choy, 50, a nurse specialising in mental health, raped a former patient in her home in 1983. He received a two-year sentence, 12 months of which were suspended and was struck off by the UKCC. He had a previous conviction in 1972 for drugging a patient in order to have sex with her.

Speaking at a fringe meeting in Bournemouth, Tariq Hussain, director responsible for professional conduct at the council, said the UKCC might consider changing its policy over the readmission of nurses at a meeting in June. That could mean the council banning rapists and other offenders.

Mr Hussain said that a special committee had made the decision to restore Mr Choy after receiving a series of personal references.

One was from the manager of a psychiatric clinic, another from a professional colleague, and a recommendation from a GP.

He was "very open about the offence and showed remorse for his behaviour,"Mr Hussain said.

Mr Hussain said the council was keen to ensure that people who were not fit to be on the nurses' register were removed very quickly.