Louise Whiteman, a Nurse from Lichfield, Staffordshire has received an official warning from the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) for falsifying Doctor’s notes so she could obtain an increased supply of vials of prescription only botulinum toxin products for her beauty business.
Evidence revealed that the nurse had a business relationship with a Dr. Phillips who she retained as a prescribing Doctor. During the period between June and August 2007, she obtained Botox® for some 17 patients and in addition pre-prepared some 180 prescriptions to enable the drug to be obtained for her clients in the Wigmore Medical Centre by dishonest means.
It came to light that Ms. Whiteman chose to carry out this fraudulent activity even after Dr Phillips had discovered that she had changed a prescription given for one vial of Botox® so she could obtain 5 vials instead, in approximately March of the same year. Her reasoning given for obtaining the drug in this way was to speed up the process for the benefit of her patients. She also told the hearing with hindsight she recognised that she was suffering from stress at the time when she committed the offences, and that this may have been a contributory factor to her behaviour.
The NMC hearing on 7th May 2010 was told that Ms. Whiteman, 41, had already pleaded guilty at Stafford Crown Court back in June 2008 to ‘dishonestly making a false representation and making or supplying articles for use in fraud’. It was during that court case that she was sentenced to 26 weeks’ jail, suspended for 12 months, plus she was ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work.
The NMC’s Conduct and Competence Committee Panel ruled in their fitness to practice hearing that the seriousness of the case and conviction could not be ignored and concluded that it warranted a five-year caution order to her nursing record.
Nearly 3 years have now elapsed since the nurse’s fraudulent activity, during which time she obtained an Independent Nurse Prescribing qualification and had continued to practice as a nurse running her own aesthetic clinic business in Staffordshire.
More on this case, including extracts from the NMC hearing documents will be available in the July edition of The Consulting Room™ Gold Members newsletter.