UK Healthcare Assistant Jailed for 15 Months After Defrauding Patients

Tilt shot of a middle aged woman's hand fettered with handcuffs

Mira Solmaz, a healthcare assistant at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London, has been sentenced to 15 months in jail for fraud. Solmaz, 33, targeted vulnerable patients, spending hundreds of pounds on their bank cards. The judge described her actions as a grotesque breach of trust.

One of her victims, Hazel Longhurst, who was undergoing cancer treatment at St. Bart’s, said she couldn’t believe someone in a position of responsibility would do such a thing. Solmaz used the victims’ cards to make fraudulent purchases, including food deliveries, clothes shopping, and paying off her debt. She was also found to have stored the personal details of other patients on her phone. 

Solmaz pleaded guilty to five counts of fraud and three counts of possession of articles for use in fraud.

The impact on the victims has been significant. Longhurst, who has cancer and was told by doctors she had about a 5 percent chance of survival, said she felt violated and vulnerable, affecting her recovery. She was at the hospital for seven months, during which her banking issues caused by Solmaz were nightmarish, often spending hours on the phone from her hospital bed. She was alerted by the bank with text messages that there was unusual activity. She ignored the messages, feeling she hadn’t been using them so that nothing could be wrong.

The subsequent investigation revealed that Solmaz had made £1,650 worth of purchases.

Solmaz’s actions have caused lasting stress and shock. Longhurst’s daughter, Melanie, expressed anger and upset at her mother’s exploitation, significantly as Covid restrictions prevented her from being by her side as much as she wanted.

The Barts Health NHS Trust suspended Solmaz as soon as the allegations came to light and conducted an internal investigation. She was subsequently dismissed.

Mira Solmaz’s fraudulent actions have resulted in a 15-month jail sentence. She wiped away tears as she sat in the court’s dock.