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NMC strikes nurse from register over painkillers theft

A senior staff nurse has been struck off the nursing register by the Nursing and Midwifery Council for stealing prescription painkillers from a Sheffield hospital.

Joanne Jessop, from Owlthorpe, Sheffield, denied taking three packs of medication from the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in December 2005, and passing them on to a male family member who was suffering from back pain.

But the NMC’s conduct and competence committee, which heard the case on May 14 and 15, found the charges against her proved and struck her off the register.

The independent panel heard how Mrs Jessop had accompanied the family member to a walk-in clinic at the hospital where she worked.

When the man was prescribed antibiotics, but no pain relief for a cyst on his lower back, Mrs Jessop visited the ward where she usually worked and took dihydrocodeine, metoclopramide and diclofenac from a drug trolley.

Six months later, the man contacted the hospital, complained about the incident and produced the stolen medication.

Although the panel accepted the incident was isolated, they ruled that Mrs Jessop’s misconduct was fundamentally incompatible with continuing to be registered with the NMC.

Commenting on the panel’s decision, NMC spokesperson Nina Rossi said: ‘Mrs Jessop was not under duress and no appropriate rehabilitative steps have been taken. The panel struggled with her continued denial of the incident, her lack of apology and insight.

‘The panel also felt that her colleagues were compromised by her seeking medication from them, as potentially were patients on the ward once medication had been removed. The panel decided that the conduct was a serious departure from the relevant standards set out in the NMC’s code of conduct,’ she added.

Readers' comments (4)

  • does anyone think joanne is innocent and its a family dispute thats got out of hand? It sounds like he set her up.

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  • To say that Joanne Jessop is innocent is crazy. She's been arrogant, thoughtless and extremely stupid. She has abused her position as a senior nurse to obtain prescription drugs. I'm not condoning nurses taking meds from the ward trolley but, it's not as if she took something like paracetamol, to say see the male family member over until he could be prescibed something stronger. Or she could have used her position to a more effective outcome by making her thoughts known at the walk-in clinic and insisting that the family member was prescribed some analgesia. As for the male involved either he is arrogant or incredibly ignorant as for what he has done is unbelievably spiteful and vindictive, he has ruined Joanne Jessops' career and life in one full swipe.

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  • Joanne Jessop is one of the most competent nurses i have ever worked with, her skills and knowledge are a huge loss, she was put in a situation that many of us would find difficult and she was let down by a ? family member.
    I
    Support her

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  • I am inclined to think like the person who commented on the 15th June 2009. Maybe she was set up. However, I would like to think that the stock code would have been match with those on the ward. Hence leaving the question as to how this relative obtianed it. So my conclusion is that she probably made a risky decision to help a relative who then use it against her for some unknown reason. Maybe the NMC 's decision would have been more favaourable if she had admitted her involvement.

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