A NURSE has been suspended for six months for accessing confidential benefit records to find out information about her ex-partner.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council found Claire Louisa Thirkell, who was working as a nurse and functional assessor at the Centre for Health and Disability Assessments and whose registered address is in Essex, had accessed the records four times in July 2019 without clinical justification or permission.

Miss Thirkell was given a suspension order of six months.

A spokesperson for the Centre for Health and Disability Assessments said: “We take complaints about professional standards and data security seriously. 

“As soon as this complaint was made, we carried out a full investigation and reported the individual to the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

“They were subsequently dismissed and no longer work for the Centre for Health and Disability Assessments.”

The NMC also took into account that Miss Thirkell was going through difficult personal circumstances.

The report states IT records show she used the Medical Services Referral System to access the benefit data of her former partner.

She admitted to accessing the records, saying she wanted to find Person A’s postcode, at a disciplinary hearing. However, the NMC panel did not accept this was her sole motivation, suggesting instead she sought to secure additional information.

She has not worked as a nurse since the incident, according to the report.