A NURSE has been sacked after being convicted of drink-driving and ‘appearing unfit for duty’, according to documents published by a regulator.

Patricia Lunt, who was dismissed by East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust last month, has also been suspended from the nurses register following an interim hearing by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Mrs Lunt was first referred to the NMC in February, due to her conviction, after which the organisation began an investigation into her health.

A second referral was then made by her bosses on July 23, who said she had appeared to be unfit for work on February 11.

There was also a second allegation that she was working for private health company Care UK while suspended from duty, though this was not upheld during her disciplinary hearing at the trust, in which she was dismissed.

The NMC is yet to investigate her case fully, but a panel in London decided an interim suspension order of 18 months was necessary.

The panel heard Mrs Lunt was not currently working due to sickness, and that ‘no workable conditions could be formulated to adequately address her health problems’.

A report of the hearing added: “The panel has noted that this order will prevent Mrs Lunt from working as a registered nurse and, as a consequence, she may be caused financial hardship.

“The panel considered the hardship put forward in the Royal College of Nursing (union) response.

“However, in applying the principle of proportionality, the panel determined that the need to protect the public and the wider public interest outweighed Mrs Lunt’s own interests in this regard.”