26 Aug 2021
A tribunal has ordered that a nurse’s registration be cancelled, and she be disqualified from applying for registration for three years for misappropriating Lignocaine from her workplace.
In December 2018, Ms Leanne Brown misappropriated a syringe of Lignocaine from the hospital where she was working as an enrolled nurse. Ms Brown had returned to work on 14 December 2018 following a health panel’s decision on 26 November 2018 to impose conditions on her registration relating to her health after a period of suspension from 29 January 2018, for concerns about a possible drug-use disorder.
Ms Brown admitted to senior hospital staff and a treating practitioner that she had used the Lignocaine but claimed to senior hospital staff that she had been given permission by a Clinical Nurse to take the Lignocaine. The tribunal found that the claimed conversation with the Clinical Nurse did not happen. As a schedule 4 medicine, removing Lignocaine from the hospital, possessing and self-administering it is illegal, against hospital policies and was a breach of the conditions imposed on Ms Brown’s registration in November 2018.
A notification about Ms Brown was made on 16 January 2019 and on 31 January 2019 the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australian took immediate action and suspended Ms Brown’s registration; she was also dismissed from the hospital because of her conduct.
Ms Brown failed to attend the tribunal hearing on 7 April 2021 which proceeded in her absence. The tribunal found Ms Brown’s behaviour constituted professional misconduct, noting that her conduct did not meet the qualities of trustworthiness and integrity required of a registered person. The tribunal ordered that Ms Brown be reprimanded, her registration as an enrolled nurse cancelled and that she be disqualified from applying for registration as a registered health practitioner for three years. Ms Brown was also ordered to pay the Board’s costs.
The tribunal’s decision was published on the Austlii website on 7 July 2021.