A SUPPORT worker for alcoholics and drug users in Chester has been struck off the nursing register for making illegal prescriptions.
Emma Kendrick was working for Turning Point in Aqua House, Boughton, when she was found to be fraudulently prescribing diazepam, a class C drug used to treat alcohol withdrawal and anxiety.
She was sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for 18 months, at Chester Crown Court on September 6 last year.
In light of her conviction, a panel at the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) decided on August 23 this year that she should be banned from practising.
Mrs Kendrick, 44, had been a registered nurse since 1997 and a non-medical practitioner since 2011.
A report by the NMC’s Fitness to Practice Committee states she was employed as a support worker and nurse prescriber at Aqua House prior to her arrest.
Information provided on a Chester Magistrates Court list shows the offending took place during the festive period between December 24, 2015, and January 1, 2016.
The NMC report states: “The fraud involved making false prescription forms for diazepam, a Class C drug. The conviction was following her arrest on January 2016. On that day, Mrs Kendrick’s handbag and office were searched, a blue prescription pad, Omeparazole, Propanalol, Busscopan, Co-codamol and a stamp with her name were found.
“On the same day Mrs Kendrick’s home was searched where nine blank prescription papers and two blank prescription sheets were found.”
It continues: “Mrs Kendrick acted dishonestly by fraudulently prescribing medication when in a privileged position of trust as a Nurse Prescriber.”
The report does not state whether she was illegally prescribing medication for herself or other people.
The panel judged her actions to be “remediable” but added that there had been “no engagement from her at all and therefore there is no indication that she demonstrates remorse or insight”.
In mitigation, it noted that she had owned up to the offence at the earliest opportunity and had no previous convictions or referrals.
A striking off order was necessary as Mrs Kendrick’s conviction had “brought the nursing profession into disrepute”, it stated.
“The panel considered that her conviction was a serious departure from professional standards,” the report states. “The panel also determined that her dishonesty was at the serious end of the spectrum due to her misuse of power in the role of Nurse Prescriber.”
Mrs Kendrick, whose address on the court list was given as Cardeston Close, Runcorn, has 18 months to lodge an appeal against the NMC’s decision.
l Turning Point is a social enterprise providing specialist and integrated services that focus on improving lives and communities across mental health, learning disability, substance misuse, primary care, the criminal justice system and employment.
See full story in the Chester Leader