Tayside and Central Scotland

Nurse struck off for failing to report child sexual abuse concerns

NMC Image copyright Nathan Clarke
Image caption The NMC said that Emily Whitelaw failed to provide an "adequate level of care"

A former NHS Forth Valley nurse who failed to report a mother's concerns that her young daughter was being sexually abused has been struck off.

Emily Whitelaw admitted telling a family support worker to take no action as the "allegations may be fabricated".

A tribunal said that her actions and omissions had the potential to place the child at "real risk of ongoing serious sexual abuse."

A disciplinary hearing in London was told the misconduct took place in 2015.

Whitelaw also failed to provide an "appropriate level of care" to the child by carrying out an "inadequate" number of home visits.

'Responsibility to report'

Whitelaw also admitted failing to adequately manage her health visitor caseload of patients.

The hearing was told that Whitelaw has subsequently retired and did not want to return to practice as a registered nurse.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) fitness to practice committee concluded that the concerns over alleged sexual abuse should have been reported immediately "regardless of whether Miss Whitelaw thought this was true or false."

The committee noted: "It was her responsibility to report such matters so that they could be further investigated by the social services department and/or the police.

"In situations like this, Miss Whitelaw would also have been expected to promptly visit the child to ensure their safety, undertake a risk assessment and to contact the mother to discuss this issue but failed to do so."

An NHS Forth Valley spokeswoman said: "We immediately carried out our own internal investigation and informed the Nursing and Midwifery Council."

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