Nurse stole drugs from hospi­tal

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - STU­ART GREER stu­art.greer@men­media.co.uk @stu­art­greer

AN ex­pe­ri­enced nurse could be struck off af­ter she was caught steal­ing tran­quil­liz­ers from Macclesfield Hospi­tal.

Natalie Louise Hud­son, 38, took 11 di­azepam tablets from a se­cure drawer in the Ac­ci­dent and Emer­gency ward on Novem­ber 8, last year.

When she was caught Hud­son, a nurse for 15 years, blamed her ac­tions on staff short­ages at the hospi­tal and per­sonal prob­lems.

The sin­gle mum-of-two was sacked by East Cheshire NHS Trust, which runs the hospi­tal.

Hud­son’s case has been re­ferred to the Nurs­ing and Mid­wifery Coun­cil, which will hold a ‘fit­ness to prac­tise’ hear­ing and de­cide on a sanc­tion in­clud­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of be­ing re­moved from the na­tional nurs­ing regis­ter per­ma­nently.

At Macclesfield mag­is­trates’ court on Tues­day, March 8, Hud­son, also known as Natalie Fowler, of Brook Lane, Alder­ley Edge, ad­mit­ted theft by an em­ployee and pos­ses­sion of a class C drug.

Richard Sealey, pros­e­cut­ing, said the of­fence in­volved a breach of trust.

He said: “The de­fen­dant be­gan her job at the hospi­tal in Septem­ber 2015. In Novem­ber, an A&E su­per­vi­sor no­ticed 11 tablets miss­ing from a drawer.

“Ac­cess to the drawer is mon­i­tored through fin­ger print recog­ni­tion and a writ­ten log.

“The Trust launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion. When ques­tioned by su­per­vi­sors Hud­son said she had dropped a tablet for a pa­tient and went to re­place it. She was later in­ter­viewed by po­lice she ad­mit­ted tak­ing the tablets. She told of­fi­cers she found the job stress­ful be­cause the hospi­tal was short staffed and she had child care is­sues fol­low­ing the break­down of her mar­riage.”

Colin Drew, de­fend­ing Hud­son, said an in­ex­pli­ca­ble ‘ mo­ment of mad­ness’ had tar­nished ‘a hitherto un­blem­ished ca­reer’.

He said: “Her re­la­tion- ship broke down leav­ing her a sin­gle mother. She was strug­gling and was on an­tide­pres­sants and di­azepam. She re­ally wasn’t up to the job.

“She had time off and then re­turned to work on com­pressed hours. It didn’t work. She be­came de­pressed and mat­ters overwhelmed her. She says she was do­ing the job of two nurses. That tipped her over the edge.

“She can’t ex­plain why she took them. She could’ve re­placed them but went into a blind panic and dis­posed of them in a san­i­tary bin in the toi­lets. She later told a col­league and they were re­cov­ered and have since been de­stroyed. It was a stupid mo­ment’s mad­ness which has caused a big prob­lem for her. She now faces ac­tion from the Nurses and Mid­wifery Coun­cil. She went from earn­ing £30,000 a year to claim­ing ben­e­fits.”

Mag­is­trates fined Hud­son £120 and or­dered her to pay £105 costs.

East Cheshire NHS Trust de­clined to com­ment.

●● Natalie Hud­son took tran­quil­liz­ers from Macclesfield Hospi­tal, where she worked

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