By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 21 December 2022 • 19:30
Paracetamol - Image MIA Studio / Shutterstock.com
Francesca Morgan, 32, appeared in court on Wednesday, December 21 after she was caught on a police camera installed in the ward in which she worked.
She was accused of illicitly taking a co-codamol pill and then a paracetamol tablet after she felt unwell during a shift at Arrowe Park Hospital, near Liverpool.
Morgan was caught after the hospital’s management noticed that prescription medicine had been going missing. A daily tablet count had been implemented without advising staff.
The hospital enlisted the help of the police who installed a camera to try and identify who was responsible for the theft. Morgan was identified, however, she was not accused of the entire theft with the management finding that staff were not following the correct procedure for handling medication.
Pleading guilty Morgan said she “assumed” that no permission was required and that she was allowed to take the medication when she was working.
Yvonne Dobson, prosecuting, said: “The hospital began an investigation due to a large number of pills needing replenishment. A tablet count was put in place to monitor the amount of medication at the beginning and end of each day.
“That was put in place without the knowledge of the staff.
“Following this, a covert camera was put in place. A number of staff were found to not be following the correct procedure in the handling of medication.
“The defendant was also seen to take medication without a legitimate reason.
“She was stealing the medication for herself. On the first occasion, she took some co-codamol. On the second occasion, it was paracetamol.”
The prosecutor confirmed: “We are not accusing her of the entire theft.
“These are two limited incidents. She believed that she had implied consent to take the medication. There was a lack of previous convictions but she has now lost her good character.”
Morgan’s defence attorney said that Morgan had lost her job and her career as a consequence of the thefts. She’d also lost her home and has since moved in with her grandmother.
She also said that Morgan thought it was acceptable to take the medication when she was on shift as other nurses were doing so. Accepting the extenuating circumstances, the magistrate granted her a 12-month conditional discharge and made her pay £144 in costs and a victim surcharge.
Peter Mawdsley, Chairman of the bench, said: “You have already suffered the loss of your job and your home.
“In light of that, a conditional discharge is appropriate.”
The hospital has declined to comment on the case of the Liverpool nurse fired for “stealing” two headache tablets or the subsequent prosecution.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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