A nurse has been struck off after she was caught swigging from a stolen bottle of morphine while treating patients at Milton Keynes hospital.
Sally Gannon helped herself to a hefty dose of the Oramorph solution from the controlled drugs cupboard, a Nursing and Midwifery Council hearing was told
Colleagues described how she appeared “scatty” and agitated and could not stop talking afterwards.
A colleague, described only as Ms 1, told how she left Mrs Gannon in charge of locking the cupboard to attend to a patient.
“I returned less than a minute later. Sally had the cupboard open and had her head titled back with a small bottle in her mouth,” she said.
The bottle had contained almost 64ml of the morphine solution. After Ms Gannon’s giant glug, only 25ml was left.
Colleagues confronted the nurse about her misdeed.One said: “I noticed that she couldn’t stop talking. She was flitting from one part of the conversation to another.”
Another said: “She appeared scatty and loud and didn’t appear like she could get herself organised.”
Mrs Gannon, who failed to attend the NMC, was an agency nurse employed through ID Medical Agency.
The hospital reported the morphine incident to police and she received a caution for theft of prescription meds.
The NMC hearing imposed an 18 month suspension order to prevent Mrs Gannon from working. After 18 months, if there is no appeal, she will be struck off the register.
Oromorph contains morphine sulfate and is used to relieve severe pain following surgery or injury. The recommended dose is 2.5ml to 10ml four hourly.
A nurse referred to as Ms 3 told the hearing Ms Gannon had confessed to her about self-medicating with a variety of drugs taken from the hospital over the years.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council panel said: “Honesty is the bedrock of the nursing profession. Mrs Gannon’s actions, when considered both individually and as a whole, amounted to a serious misconduct.”