A nurse has been suspended after he failed to manage methadone handouts for patients recovering from drug addiction, one of whom later died.
Iain Thomson, from Carnoustie, failed to suspend methadone prescriptions for patients who missed several appointments – and upped the dosage for others without informing their GPs.
A Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) panel in Edinburgh took the decision to suspend his registration for six months after Thomson did not appear at his hearing or send a legal representative to defend his conduct.
Thomson’s employers at NHS Tayside began an investigation into his conduct in 2016 after he was found to have not kept records for a patient who died in circumstances thought to be drug-related.
The patient, named only as Patient 2, had missed four appointments and should have had her methadone prescription suspended in a bid to encourage her to attend.
However, the NMC found no action was taken even after she raised concerns that she was struggling — as did her pharmacy.
Substance abuse worker Thomson also copied and pasted appointment notes, failed to log missed and cancelled appointments and did not act when another patient attended a pharmacy smelling strongly of cannabis.
Ruling that the nurse’s actions amounted to misconduct, the panel said: “Mr Thomson’s multiple failures and omissions were wide ranging, in relation to 10 patients, and occurred over a prolonged period of time — some three years.
“Mr Thomson acted as to put patients at unwarranted risk of harm. The risk of harm to these patients was exacerbated as a result of their substance misuse issues, which required careful assessment and monitoring.
“By placing patients at unwarranted risk of harm and by failing to provide them with effective and fundamental care, Mr Thomson has brought the nursing profession into disrepute and breached the fundamental tenets of the nursing profession.”
Thomson told the NMC in August last year that he would not engage with the hearing and had no intention of working as a nurse again.
When contacted by the Tele, Mr Thomson declined to comment.
A spokeswoman for NHS Tayside said: “This person is no longer employed by NHS Tayside.”