Nurse faces theft hearing

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A NURSE helped her husband steal an elderly patient’s TV after offering to collect valuables from the victim’s home.

A disciplinary hearing was told that Pat Blackett volunteered to help the frail pensioner, after he was admitted to the St George’s Care Home she managed in Wigan, as he had no family to help collect his possessions.

She took her then partner Mike Hargreaves to the house to help with the clear-out, and let him take a 32ins Sharp TV belonging the patient.

Police were called when the TV was reported missing, and officers found the stolen item at Blackett’s home during a raid on New Year’s Eve 2009.

Blackett was given a conditional discharge at Liverpool Crown Court in March last year after admitting handling stolen goods.

The registered nurse, who no longer works at the care home in Windsor Street, is facing misconduct charges at a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) hearing.

Emma Kurzner, for the NMC, said: “Ms Blackett, together with Mike Hargreaves and a social worker, attended patient A’s home, where belongings were removed, some of which were given to patient A.

“The TV was taken by Mr Hargreaves back to the home he shared with the registrant. Police attended their address on December 16 2009, but the registrant wasn’t present and nothing was seized at that time.

“On December 31 2009, the registrant was arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods and the television was seized from her property.”

Blackett initially denied that the TV had been stolen, but entered a guilty plea when the matter came to court.

She has admitted taking Hargreaves to the home in breach of guidelines, and conceded she was convicted by the courts.

Ms Kurzner said: “She as a member of staff would have been allowed to enter patient A’s house since she had permission.

“But the registrant should not have allowed Mr Hargreaves into patient A’s house as he was not authorised to be there.”

Following her arrest and conviction, an internal investigation at the home unearthed further accusations of wrongdoing.

Blackett had let Hargreaves into the care home several times in 2008 and 2009 without authorisation, and given him her security fob for the front door.

She is also accused of letting him use the care home’s computers which contained staff financial records and confidential patient details.

“Not only did she allow Mr Hargreaves into the care home, she also gave him her security fob for him to use, allowing him to open doors into the home,” said Ms Kurzner.

“On three occasions, she allowed him access to the care home computer on the basis that access had been authorised by a director and would not amount to misconduct.

“He should not have had access to that computer in the circumstances of him not being an authorised employee.”

Blackett has admitted letting Hargreaves into the home and giving him her security fob, but she denies he was allowed to use the computer in the care home office.

If found guilty of misconduct, Blackett could face being struck off the nursing register.