Nurse steals 8,872 tablets from work

editorial image

A NURSE has been struck off the register after forging prescriptions at health centres in Milton Keynes for nearly 8,900 tablets.

Suzanne Mackmurdie was handed down the punishment by the Nursing and Midwifery Council, after admitting the charges at a hearing in London.

Mrs Mackmurdie was working at the Purbeck Health Centre in Stantonbury and the Sovereign Medical Centre in Pennyland in 2011 when she was caught with forged prescriptions for, among others, 5,658 diazepam tablets and 2,600 dihydrocodeine tablets.

In May 2011, Mrs Mackmurdie informed the Purbeck Health Centre she had been suspended from her other job at Sovereign Medical Centre as she had been writing prescriptions, signing them herself then taking them to the pharmacy and having them dispensed for her own use.

She indicated she had drawn squiggles on the prescriptions in the place of a doctor’s signature.

Mrs Mackmurdie admitted to using the medication for herself, saying: “On the day I did the first prescription, I cannot describe my feelings of loneliness and despair.

“I did what I did so I could continue to work. I tried to self medicate.”

In a letter to the NMC in August 2011, Mrs Mackmurdie wrote: “I wanted to come to show my deep remorse and shame at what I have done and I know that there is no excuse but hoped you would take into account my previous good conduct of 31 years.

“I could not cope starting two new jobs and did the prescriptions for myself, they were never for any other purpose but for my own use.”

Summing up the case, the NMC panel concluded: “The panel notes Mrs Mackmurdie’s previous good history and her contribution to the nursing profession over many years together with the positive references she has provided.

“However, given the serious nature of Mrs Macmurdie’s misconduct and repeated dishonesty over a long period of time at two employers, the panel concluded that a suspension order would be neither appropriate nor sufficient to uphold the standards of and maintain public confidence in the nursing profession.”

The NMC have handed down a Striking Off Order, though should Mrs Mackmurdie appeal the decision, she will still be serving an 18-month ban.