Fife nurse sentenced for stealing epidural medicine for own use

A nurse who took epidural medicine meant for pregnant women in her care has admitted reckless and culpable conduct.

Caroline Heap, 41, was working as a staff nurse on the maternity unit at the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy, Fife, when she used syringes to withdraw medicine from sealed intravenous bags for her own use, between October 17 and November 7 2016.

Police Scotland said she was charged with culpable and reckless conduct and pleaded guilty on April 18 at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court.

Heap, of Glenrothes, has now been sentenced to 250 hours of community service which must be completed within 12 months.

Detective Inspector Graeme Dursley, of Kirkcaldy CID, said: "Heap risked the contamination of sterile medicine and her actions were completely inexcusable.

"I want to extend my sincere appreciation to staff at the Victoria Hospital for their vigilance in detecting and reporting this, as well as NHS Fife for their support.''

Helen Wright, director of nursing at NHS Fife, said: "This was a serious breach of the professional standards we expect of our staff.

"Patient safety is of the utmost importance and we are constantly reviewing our systems and processes to ensure patients receive safe care of the highest quality.

"Since this incident came to light we have subjected existing procedures around controlled drugs to further review, taking the opportunity to tighten up protocols.''

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