Dishonest builder's 'CV of lies' blags top NHS positions

Dishonest builder's 'CV of lies' blags top NHS positions

News that a builder faked multiple university-level qualifications to land several top NHS jobs should spark HR departments into checking their employees' credentials to ensure both customer and staff safety.

Jon Andrewes, from Devon, referred to himself as a Doctor and put fake PhDs on his CV, as he blagged his way to becoming Chairman of two NHS Trusts and a hospice – Plymouth Herald reports.

Further lies on Andrewes’ CV included: a first-class degree; a masters; and employment at the Home Office – a position he would have taken at just 16-years-old, if it were true.

Amazingly, Andrewes kept up the con for over a decade, as his first top-level position was in 2004. It was not until 2016 that NHS bosses discovered that his impressive cross-sector credentials were faked.

Appearing at Exeter Crown Court, Andrewes pleaded guilty to charges of dishonesty, false representation and making a financial gain from false representation. He was handed concurrent two-year sentences for his crimes.

Surprisingly, Andrewes’ defence lawyer claimed that former colleagues provided Andrewes with glowing references: calling him “dedicated”, “respected” and “honest”.

The court also heard that, whilst Andrewes performance was sometimes unsatisfactory, he wasn’t actively damaging in his role.

Andrewes' real working life saw him employed as a Probation Officer, builder and social worker.

Yet, incredibly, the builder-turned-NHS-boss beat off over 100 candidates to become Chair of Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust in 2015 – previously earning circa £1million over a ten-year period of lies.

He also secured positions as Chairman of Torbay NHS Care Trust and CEO of St Margaret’s Hospice.

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For HR departments, the risks posed by candidates with dishonest CVs can be several-fold.

Two years ago, bosses at The Cash Generator in Edinburgh were robbed of £130,000 by a man with false accountancy credentials, whilst research by the Risk Advisory Group found that one candidate lied about working abroad to cover-up prison time for drug offences. Potentially this could have put colleagues at risk.

Michael Whittington, Head of Employee Screen at the Risk Advisory Group, said: “Some discrepancies may be genuine slip-ups, but others are deliberate attempts by jobseekers to deceive employers in order to get ahead."

Last year, stats from CareerBuilder revealed that 56% of employers have found a lie on a résumé, with Millennials the worst offenders. Candidates who were aged between 25- and 32-years-old accounted for 38% of all CV discrepancies.

Check out the five worst CV lies here.

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Comments (1)

  • Sir
    Tue, 7 Mar 2017 1:32pm GMT
    For most jobs, qualifications are unimportant (medics, accountants and a few others aside) - it's a matter of 'Can you do the job (safely, competently etc) ?'. What bothers me here in the Andrewes case is that it took 12 years for him to get rumbled and his performance was described as sometimes unsatisfactory - what, only sometimes ? Who passed him in probation ?
    It only goes to prove that there's a lot of 'witch doctor' syndrome around many jobs, with all sorts of qualifications and experience being cited as necessary, when in reality any Tom, Sue or Harriet with an ounce of gumption can make a decent stab at it and earn a 6 figure salary into the bargain.
    The employer is the fraud here for suggesting a list of job 'requirements' that aren't really requirements at all.
    .............. and we wonder why there is a 'glass ceiling'.

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