Nurse caught stealing drugs from IRH

Here is another case of diversion by a nurse in the UK. I investigated a similar case here in the US where the nurse was prescribed a one time course of tramadol. When it ran out, he started diverting it. The case I reviewed happened before tramadol was scheduled. The nurse involved in that case had previously had his license suspended for opioid diversion and he felt the tramadol diversion scheme would go undetected. He was correct, until the institution unexpectedly ran out of stock and was ultimately able to tie the loss to his repeated access to the tramadol drawer. – Kim New

A THIEVING nurse was caught stealing batches of a powerful pain relief drug from Inverclyde Royal Hospital after suspicious bosses helped police set up a covert camera.

Claire McCallion repeatedly pinched tramadol from a restricted pharmaceutical storage area at a time when she was being prescribed the same medication by her GP.

She was arrested following a seven-week surveillance operation but bizarrely claimed that she was merely disposing of the drug – telling police that she had been ‘chucking’ it.

McCallion, 41 – who is currently suspended from her job on full pay – was filmed stealing the tramadol from the hospital between October 1 and November 17 2014.

But the shamed nurse has been spared a prison sentence after a sheriff was told that she had shown a ‘significant degree of contrition’ over her catalogue of offending.

Prosecutor Pamela Brady said that hospital staff had become so concerned at a spate of disappearances of the drug that a ‘course of action was formulated with the police’.

Mrs Brady told Greenock Sheriff Court: “They identified an area where the drug was stored and was going missing from and a covert CCTV camera was installed on October 1.

“The camera was checked on October 14 and it showed the accused entering the area where the tramadol was stored and removing quantities of it.”

Mrs Brady told how further reviews of footage from the hidden camera were conducted on October 17, 23, 24, 30 and 31, and on a further two dates in November.

The fiscal depute said: “The accused was again seen to enter the area and remove packages.

“The police attended at the hospital on November 17 and the accused was detained in relation to the theft of the drug.

“At Greenock police office she was interviewed and confirmed that she had taken various quantities of tramadol over the period of the libel.

“She could offer no rationale for doing this.”McCallion was originally charged with beginning her offending behaviour on August 24 2014 but the timeframe was later narrowed to the period when the camera was in use.

“Defence lawyer Gerry Keenan said that his client had told police: “I was not taking them for myself – I was chucking them.”

Mr Keenan declared: “It is a somewhat bizarre explanation.”

Nevertheless, the solicitor said: “She was taking these articles and depriving the hospital of them.”

“Defence lawyer Gerry Keenan said that his client had told police: “I was not taking them for myself – I was chucking them.”

Mr Keenan declared: “It is a somewhat bizarre explanation.”

Nevertheless, the solicitor said: “She was taking these articles and depriving the hospital of them.”

“There has been a significant degree of contrition on her part.”

Sheriff Iain Fleming sentenced McCallion, of South Road, Port Glasgow, to 180 hours of unpaid work, to be completed within 12 months.

Published by – Greenock Telegraph

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