Reckless conduct at Victoria Hospital

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A woman who took epidural medicine meant for pregnant women in her care has today (Friday) been sentenced.

Caroline Heap, aged 41, was working as a staff nurse on the Maternity Unit at the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy.

Between 17 October and 7 November 2016, Heap used syringes to withdraw medicine from sealed intravenous bags for her own use.

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Heap, of Glenrothes, was subsequently charged with culpable and reckless conduct and pled guilty at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court on 18 April.

She has now received a sentence of 250 hours of community service to be completed within 12 months.

Detective Inspector Graeme Dursley of Kirkcaldy CID said:

“Heap risked the contamination of sterile medicine and her actions were completely inexcusable.

“I want to extend my sincere appreciation to staff at the Victoria Hospital for their vigilance in detecting and reporting this, as well as NHS Fife for their support.”

Director of Nursing at NHS Fife, Helen Wright, said:

“This was a serious breach of the professional standards we expect of our staff.

“Patient safety is of the utmost importance and we are constantly reviewing our systems and processes to ensure patients receive safe care of the highest quality.

“Since this incident came to light we have subjected existing procedures around controlled drugs to further review, taking the opportunity to tighten up protocols.”