Nurse spared jail over botox prescription fraud while on sick leave from NHS

A nurse has been spared jail for providing duplicated prescription forms for cosmetic treatment medication while she was on sick leave from her NHS job.

Nicola Bevan, 43, put customers at her private clinic at risk by taking away the need for them to complete medical assessments before receiving Botox treatment.

On Thursday, Cardiff Crown Court (pictured) heard that the community district nurse pocketed thousands of pounds in NHS sick pay while working from her Youthful You clinic in Bridgend, South Wales, while also avoiding paying £30 fees to get legitimate prescription forms.

Prosecutor Carl Harris said Bevan had “abused the trust” of two duped pharmacists from whom she collected medication after providing them with 15 prescription forms which had already previously been dispensed.

Mr Harris told the court: “Bevan put the safety of her patients at risk.”

Medical history questions asked to obtain genuine prescriptions include whether patients are pregnant, breastfeeding, undergoing fertility treatment, or whether they suffer from inflammatory problems or are prone to bleeding.

Mr Harris said: “The use of duplicate prescriptions circumvents the need to take details from customers ahead of proving them with Botox.”

One pharmacist, Marie Phillips, said the practice of circumventing the medical assessment process could lead to “potential medical complications”.

Bevan’s moonlighting played out while she on sick leave between December 2016 and June 2017, when she received £11,000 in sick pay from the Swansea Bay Health Board, where she had worked for 11 years.

But the money was paid back after her private clinic work was discovered by bosses.

When interviewed, Bevan blamed her prescription fraud on a company that trained her, saying she had been told she could submit the same prescription twice.

She later pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud and dishonestly failing to disclose information that could lead to making a personal gain.

Lucy Crowther, defending, said Bevan was now self-employed and both she and her son suffered from health issues.

Recorder of Cardiff Judge Eleri Rees said Bevan’s “poor judgment” was “astounding” considering her long career in the health service.

She said: “You lied to your employers, setting up up a business, and to then, as a nurse, disregard the most fundamental issue as a nurse – the health and safety of customers by giving repeat prescriptions to them without medical assessments for quite some time.”

Bevans, from Pencoed, Bridgend, was sentenced to 15 months in prison, suspended for 18 months.

She was also ordered to pay costs of £3,075 and complete 200 hours of unpaid work.

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