A NURSE has been struck off after she drank sherry and stole drugs while supposed to be caring for vulnerable patients.
Rodina Margaret Mitchell, 62, also lied to colleagues about stealing from a drugs trolley meant for patients at Biggart Hospital in Prestwick, Ayrshire.
At a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) hearing in London, Mitchell admitted five separate charges of misconduct, including stealing Tramadol or Co-codamol from a drugs trolley.
Rodina Mitchell said the striking off order was what she wanted
The NMC panel said they had no other option but to strike her off after she continued to work after drinking on a night shift at a ward for rehabilitating elderly patients in October 2010.
When charge nurse Karen Wilson questioned her about the drugs, she initially lied and said they were from her GP.
Mitchell, from Prestwick, admitted taking “two 50mg strips of Tramadol and /or one 30/500mg strip of Cocodamol from a drug trolley on the ward for [her] own personal use.”
Announcing its decision, the NMC panel said: “In drinking alcohol on duty Ms Mitchell placed her patients at unwarranted risk of harm.
“Her lack of recognition of the risk her actions represented means that the Panel could have no confidence that she would not repeat her actions.
“Ms Mitchell’s actions and her dishonesty will undoubtedly have brought the reputation of the profession into disrepute.
“Members of the public do not expect nurses to drink alcohol when they are on duty and have responsibility for patients’ lives and well-being.
“Nor does the public expect nurses to steal medication intended for the care of patients.”
The NMC panel continued: “The Panel finds that that Ms Mitchell’s misconduct and her dishonesty has seriously undermined confidence in the profession and is fundamentally incompatible with her remaining on the Register.
“The only sanction sufficient to protect the public and maintain and uphold public confidence in the nursing profession and the NMC as regulator is to strike the registrant off the Register.”
The NMC said Mitchell was not apologised for her actions, and her only contact with the NMC was to admit the charges and the fact she was no longer fit to practise.
“Ms Mitchell has offered no information to suggest she recognises the risks she posed to her patients when she drank alcohol on duty nor the damage that her actions will have caused to public confidence in the profession.
“She was offered support and help from her employer but declined that offer.
“She has not engaged with the NMC in addressing the concerns regarding her fitness to practice, except to admit the facts and concede that her fitness to practise is impaired.
“The Panel has not been provided with testimonial references.
“Ms Mitchell has provided no information to suggest she had taken any steps to remediate her misconduct.
“Indeed, Ms Mitchell has told the NMC that she has retired from nursing and will not be applying to go back on to the NMC Register.”
When asked for her reaction to the striking off order today (tue) she declined to comment, saying only: “That’s what I wanted.”