A former Dundee nurse spoke of her joy today after being cleared of stealing medication from a Ninewells cancer ward.
Pauline Maria Ballie, 52, of Maryfield, was alleged to have taken painkillers “on a number of occasions” from ward 32.
But when she was brought before the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) panel in Edinburgh earlier this week she was told she had no case to answer.
Mrs Ballie had been accused of stealing dihydrocodeine a type of opiate while working at NHS Tayside between July 22 2011 and August 11 2011. Ward 32 at Ninewells is for clinical and medical oncology, which treats patients who have cancer.
But the panel concluded Mrs Ballie had no case to answer because of insufficient evidence against her.
Their report said keys to the drugs cupboard had been left on desks and underneath folders and sometimes the doors had even been left open as they were stiff.
Other staff such as healthcare assistants, doctors and pharmacy staff were not included in the monitoring of those who had access to keys and therefore the process of elimination, was “flawed” and “did not sufficiently demonstrate” Mrs Ballie alone could have been responsible.
The report concluded: “The evidence presented was tenuous, inherently weak and not of the requisite standard to find the charges proved. Accordingly the panel has determined that you have no case to answer.”
At her home today Pauline a multiple sclerosis sufferer said her health had been significantly affected by the three-year process to clear her name, but admitted she finally felt able to hold her head high again.
She said: “I’m absolutely delighted the panel have concluded I have no case to answer. This has gone on for three years and it’s been really detrimental to my health.
“I suffer from MS and this whole issue has exacerbated the illness I’ve had to have so much medical and hospital treatment over the last few years. For the first time in a long time I can now hold my head up high.”
A spokeswoman for NHS Tayside declined to comment and said Mrs Ballie no longer works for the health authority.