Care home nurse had Class B drug to help her through night shift

A nurse employed at a Cullen┬ácare home has been served with a four-year caution order after being found with the Class B drug ‘Speed’ on the premises.

Michelle Benzie was employed at the Lythe Care Home in Cullen when in September last year another nurse at the home found a small box containing a white substance in a locked medication trolley.

When called by the second nurse, Ms Benzie admitted the box was hers and contained the amphetamine. The incident was reported to a manager and the home owner, who both conducted an investigation.

The matter was then reported to police and the substance handed over to them, but the matter was not pursued by police and Ms Benzie was not charged with any offence.

A meeting of the Nursing and Midwifery Council panel met earlier this month to consider the case although Ms Benzie did not attend and was not represented.

The panel did receive a response to the allegations from Ms Benzie, who had said that she had attended a funeral the day of the incident and felt that she may need the drug to keep her awake during her shift.

After finding that Ms Benzie’s actions did pose a potential risk to patients even though the substance was kept in a locked medication trolley, the panel made a caution order of four years because they considered the case to be at the higher end of the caution category.

A caution order does not preclude a nurse from continuing to work, but prospective employers can check the nurse’s registration details and see why the caution was issued and for how long.

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