A veterinary nurse has been suspended from the register for nine months after she admitted dishonestly creating four prescriptions, one of which was then fraudulently presented to a pharmacy.
The committee was satisfied her dishonesty amounted to disgraceful conduct in a professional respect and her conduct fell far short of that expected of a registered veterinary nurse.
Miss Price, who did not attend the hearing and had no representation, dishonestly created a prescription for two inhalers on January 6, 2013, while working at a practice in Kent.
The prescription was written and signed in the name of a locum vet, Cristiana Tudini, without her knowledge or consent and was then presented to a pharmacy for dispensing.
Two months later, Miss Price created a further three prescriptions – one of which was written in the name of her colleague, vet Cormac Higgins, and two written in the name of Cristiana Tudini without either’s knowledge or consent. All four false prescriptions were made out for Miss Price’s Jack Russell terrier.
After discovering the prescriptions, Mr Higgins asked Miss Price for an explanation and subsequently suspended her pending investigation.
However, after being questioned by Mr Higgins, she resigned before any in-house disciplinary hearing could take place. The allegations were then reported to both the RCVS and the police, the latter giving Miss Price a formal caution in respect of the false prescription made in January 2013.
The RCVS disciplinary committee said it was taking into account aggravating and mitigating factors. In mitigation, it accepted Miss Price’s explanation that in the early hours of January 6, she suffered an asthma attack. After realising her inhaler was empty and fearing a further asthma attack, she created the false prescription at work in a panic.
The committee also took into account a witness statement from Mr Higgins that described Price as a “great nurse” and “good with patients and clients”.
However, the committee also considered aggravating factors including Miss Price’s dishonesty and that she made further false prescriptions in March, although these were not then presented to a pharmacy.