A NURSE who stole prescription drugs and dished them out to her friends is to be struck off.

Amie Louise Heller swiped the patients’ painkilling tablets while employed at Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council said it received a referral in August 2015 from the hospital in relation to allegations Heller was involved in the theft of a controlled drug from the hospital.

Other allegations against Heller included possession with intent to supply Class A drugs (cocaine) and the supply of controlled drugs of Class B and C which were stolen from the hospital.

Heller, who posted glamorous selfies on Facebook depicting her party girl lifestyle, also made admissions in a police interview to possessing cocaine for her own personal use.

She pleaded guilty to all the charges on December 8, 2016, and was jailed for three years and eight months at Preston Crown Court on January 13 last year.

A panel of the NMC found Heller’s fitness to practise is ‘currently impaired’ due to her conviction.

A report on the NMC website said: “The panel determined that public confidence in the nursing profession would be irreparably damaged if a nurse who had been convicted of theft of drugs from her employer and the supply of drugs including class A drugs, was not found currently impaired.”

Heller was rumbled in July 2015 when the hospital received an anonymous phone call from someone making accusations that drugs were being stolen from the premises and pointed the finger at Heller, of Sarmatian Fold, Ribchester.

Stock checks were carried out and discrepancies were found between what had been requested from the pharmacy and what was on the wards.

Internal enquiries were carried out and the police were contacted.

Although Heller was initially allowed to continue working, on July 31 – 11 days after the anonymous phone call – she was arrested at work.

Preston Crown Court heard Heller was also using cocaine during the periods she was stealing the drugs and had a long-term friendship with her dealer and co-defendant Jake Alexander Lloyd-Haydock.

Prosecuting, Peter Barr said Lloyd-Haydock would give Heller cocaine to sell to her friends.

Heller would take payment for the drugs and give the money to Lloyd-Haydock. For that Heller would receive a reduced rate on her cocaine as “payment in kind”, the court heard.

The NMC said her conviction was ‘very serious’ and ‘involved theft and dishonesty over a prolonged period of time'.

The panel said Heller had been ‘truly sorry’ for her past behaviour and that she wanted to be a ‘positive role model in the future’.

Imposing a striking off order, the panel said: “This order was necessary to mark the importance of maintaining public confidence in the profession, and to send to the public and the profession a clear message about the standard of behaviour required of a registered nurse.”

Heller was given an interim suspension order for 18 months to allow for the possibility of an appeal to be made and determined.

If no appeal is made, then the interim order will be replaced by the striking-off order 28 days after Heller is sent the decision of the hearing in writing.