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NHS nurse fired for taking two tablets from hospital to treat her headache

Poppy Bilderbeck

Published 
| Last updated 

NHS nurse fired for taking two tablets from hospital to treat her headache

Featured Image Credit: Cavendish

A hospital has dismissed one of its NHS nurses after she took two tablets from its drugstore when she began feeling unwell.

Francesca Morgan recently appeared in court after she was caught on camera taking drugs from the Arrowe Park Hospital, near Liverpool.

The 32-year-old NHS worker has since been fired from her job and feels like her career as a nurse is over now too.

Francesca Morgan took the two tablets while on shift. Credit: Cavendish
Francesca Morgan took the two tablets while on shift. Credit: Cavendish
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Between 6 and 18 June 2021, during one of her shifts, Morgan began to get a headache and so went to the hospital's drugstore and took one co-codamol pill and one paracetamol tablet.

Morgan was caught on camera taking the drugs - a secret camera having been installed in the drugstore as part of a police investigation into prescription medication going missing, launched prior to the incident involving Morgan.

Yvonne Dobson - the prosecutor on the case - told the court: "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."

The former NHS nurse took one co-codamol pill and one paracetamol tablet. Credit: Cavendish
The former NHS nurse took one co-codamol pill and one paracetamol tablet. Credit: Cavendish
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At the court hearing, Morgan was accused by Dobson of 'stealing the medication for herself [...] without legitimate reason'.

However, Dobson noted Morgan was not being accused of 'the entire theft' and was only believed to be responsible for 'two limited incidents' rather than the grounds which led the police to launch an investigation in the first place.

No staff were aware of the 'covert camera' and according to Dobson, the footage revealed not just Morgan but 'a number of staff were found to not be following the correct procedure in the handling of medication'.

An investigation had already been launched into prescription medication going missing prior to the incident involving Morgan. Credit: Cavendish
An investigation had already been launched into prescription medication going missing prior to the incident involving Morgan. Credit: Cavendish
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She added that Morgan 'believed that she had implied consent to take the medication' and had 'a lack of previous convictions,' but resolved the former NHS nurse had 'now lost her good character'.

Morgan pleaded guilty to two offences of theft from an employer and her mitigation defence solicitor Laura Flynn argued the former NHS nurse only took the pills from the drugstore because she had seen other workers do so.

Morgan claims she has also lost her home and career as a result of the incident. Credit: Cavendish
Morgan claims she has also lost her home and career as a result of the incident. Credit: Cavendish

Morgan was given a 12-month conditional discharge meaning she won't be sentenced for the offence unless she commits another crime in the next 12 months. The former NHS nurse has also been ordered to pay costs and a victim surcharge penalty amounting to £144.

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Flynn said Morgan has not only lost her job, but her career and house - having been forced to move back in with her grandmother.

Addressing the former NHS nurse, Chairman Peter Mawdsley said: "You have already suffered the loss of your job and your home.

"In light of that a conditional discharge is appropriate."

Tyla has contacted Arrowe Park Hospital for comment.

Topics: News, Health, NHS

Poppy Bilderbeck
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