UK: Nurse Suspended After Secret Cameras Showed Her Stealing Paracetamol

A nurse who was caught on camera at the hospital she worked at swiping tablets to treat a headache has been suspended from the profession. Francesca Morgan, 33, took paracetamol tablets, which were intended for patients, from a medication room. She was convicted of theft at the magistrates court in 2022. And she has now been suspended for six months following an investigation by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Morgan, from Woolton, worked at the Arrowe Park hospital on Merseyside as a band 5 registered nurse. According to a NMC fitness to practise committee report, as a result of unaccounted medication losses, covert cameras were set up in the medication room of the hospital in Birkenhead, Wirral, in June 2021.

Footage from those cameras identified Morgan taking paracetamol as well as a laxative solution on two occasions. Morgan sent an email to NHS professionals in February 2022 claiming she could only assume that she had placed paracetamol in her pocket to give to a patient when in a rush and that she had not intentionally set out to steal medication.

At a meeting on April 6, she denied taking the tablets while working but accepted she had done so when presented with the CCTV evidence, the Liverpool Echo reports. Morgan has been handed a six-month suspension from the profession (Image: Francesca Morgan/ Cavendish Press)

In relation to taking the paracetamol, Morgan said it was a “known thing that if you have a headache, you can take paracetamol.” In a letter to the NMC in March last year, she said she had taken the tablets with assumed consent because she was feeling poorly. The nurse said that the taking of paracetamol was “commonplace” within the ward environment amongst staff and therefore she assumed that it would be okay.

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