Vancouver police say a woman falsely posing as a nurse is facing charges after working at a Vancouver hospital for an entire year.
Vancouver police say Brigitte Cleroux, 49, worked at BC Women’s Hospital between June 2020 and June 2021 under fraudulent pretenses.
Police allege she provided care to patients at the hospital while using the name of a real nurse.
“Our detectives worked collaboratively with the Ottawa Police Service, which was conducting a parallel investigation into the same suspect,” VPD Const. Tania Visintin said.
“We don’t yet know how many people in Vancouver may have received treatment from the fraudulent nurse, but we’re working with the Provincial Health Services Authority to identify patients who may have had contact with her.”
Ottawa police allege Cleroux fraudulently presented herself as a nurse while working at a medical and dental clinic in that city, where she administered medications and injections to patients.
They launched an investigation into Cleroux after getting a tip she had used aliases and assumed the identities of registered nurses.
It was not immediately clear how many patients Cleroux worked on in Vancouver, what duties or services she provided, or whether there were any adverse outcomes relating to her work.
the Provincial Health Services Authority, which operates BC Women’s Hospital, confirmed that “an individual representing themselves as a licenced RN” was no longer employed with the hospital.
“We can assure the public that we are reviewing this matter fully to determine how this occurred, any internal processes that may have contributed to it, and impact to patients. PHSA is working in partnership with VPD and will be communicating directly with potentially impacted patients in the next week who are confirmed to have received care from this individual,” a spokesperson said.
In June, the British Columbia College of Nurses and Midwives issued a public advisory, warning that a woman calling herself as Melanie Smith, Melanie Thompson or Melanie Cleroux was falsely holding herself out as a registered nurse.
“BCCNM reminds all employers in all practice settings of their obligation to verify the registration status for new employees in the roles of registered nurses, registered psychiatric nurses, licenced practical nurses, nurse practitioners, and midwives with BCCNM via the nurse verification or midwife verification on the BCCNM website or by directing an inquiry to the BCCNM Registration department,” it said.
Cleroux, who Ottawa police say is from Gatineau, Que., is facing charges in B.C. of fraud over $5,000 and personation with intent.
In Ontario, she’s facing charges of criminal negligence causing bodily harm, assault with a weapon, obtaining by false pretence, uttering forged documents and personation to gain advantage.
Cleroux appeared in an Ontario court on Aug. 24.
She remains in police custody.
According to a report from the CBC, a woman by the name of Brigitte Cleroux Marier was arrested and charged after allegedly impersonating a nurse in Alberta in 2008, and had been previously convicted of similar offences in Ontario.