As a result of a trial in July, a woman who falsified documents in order to gain high-level employment with the NHS has been jailed for 12 months.
Chanelle Poku, 29, was in charge of urgent care programmes, after alleging she had a Master’s degree in molecular biology, and previous employment experience leading a charity. The fraudulent education and professional experience were only revealed when her performance failed, at which point she made false accusations of bullying, assault and racism.
Your offending left a wholly-unqualified person in charge of an important role in the local NHS infrastructure. This offence is so serious that only an immediate custody is justified
– Recorder David Osborne, sentencing Poku to 12 months.
Poku invented the Master’s qualification, whilst burnishing her credentials with falsely written credentials. These were written by herself and others.
Cases such as this are unfortunately not rare, and the dangers they cause to the public are continuous. These stories highlight the importance of employment screening solutions. In this case, thorough pre-employment screening would have proved the candidate’s employment history and academic achievements to be false. Screening prospective hires enables employers to:
- Vouch for the honesty and experience of your employees and candidates.
- Protect the security and integrity of your data, systems.
- Comply with professional standards and statutory requirements in your industry.
- Minimise risk and prevent damage to your company’s reputation.
- Promote a culture of honesty and integrity, between yourself as an employer and your staff.
If pre-employment screening had been used in this case, the financial, reputational, and professional damage to the NHS would have been minimised.
After employment, businesses can use continuous employment screening methods to encourage a culture where staff take responsibility for their actions and do not commit misconduct in or outside of the workplace.