Nurse from Read pretended to be patient's relative in drug fraud

A PRACTICE nurse has been suspended after pretending to be a patient’s relative to get medication.

Gillian Bacchi was also arrested by police and given a caution for fraud by false representation.

She is facing a review of her case in February, but has indicated that she will apply for voluntary removal from the Nursing and Midwifery Council register, the body said.

Ms Bacchi, who is understood to have left her home in Whalley Road, Read, and moved to America with her partner since the allegations came to light, was employed at the Little Harwood Health Centre, in Blackburn.

An NMC hearing heard how while she was off work due to sickness, she pretended to be a patient’s granddaughter to get a prescription of codeine.

When challenged by the pharmacist Ms Bacchi ran out of the pharmacy and the police were contacted, the panel was told.

Miriam Karp, who chaired the hearing, said in a report: “The panel is of the view that based on the information before it there is a risk to both the public and to Ms Bacchi were she permitted to practice without restriction.

“The allegations Ms Bacchi faces are serious, involving dishonest conduct.

“There is information before the panel to indicate that she suffers from ongoing health problems which are linked to the police caution she received.

“The panel therefore concluded that some form of interim order is necessary on the grounds of public protection.

“Ms Bacchi informed the NMC that she has been off work on sick leave since June 2013 and does not intend to return to work, as she feels she is incapable of doing so.

“She intends to apply for voluntary removal from the NMC register.”

Ms Bacchi was given an 18-month interim suspension order. She did not attend the hearing, which took place at the Old Bailey in London in August, but sent two letters to the NMC, in which she admitted attempting to obtain a prescription under false representation.

The case is set to be reviewed by the NMC on February 12.

One of Ms Bacchi’s former neighbours, who asked to remain anonymous, said she believed the nurse had left for America with her partner.

A spokeswoman for Lancashire Police said: “A 49-year-old woman from Read was arrested on suspicion of fraud by false representation and received an adult caution.

“The offence was one count of falsely trying to claim a prescription that was not hers. “The place of the offence, where she tried to claim the prescription, was a chemist’s in Clitheroe.”

The manager of Little Harwood Surgery was unavailable for comment.

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