St Neots nurse struck off for selling unlicensed weight loss drugs

Scales of Justice.

Scales of Justice. - Credit: Archant

A nurse put patients at “unwarranted risk of danger” by selling controlled and unlicensed weight loss drugs.

Joanna Hudson, who ran The Diet Centre in St Neots for about two years, has been struck off after the Care Quality Commission (CQC) reported her to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

CQC inspectors visited the business in November 2011 and raised serious concerns in the way the clinic was run.

Ms Hudson’s case was heard by the NMC competency panel on September 3-6. The panel was told she sold controlled appetite suppressant drugs – such as diethylpropion and phentermine – to patients without a doctor present and failed to tell patients of the possible side effects.

She also supplied unlicensed drugs but did not inform some patients that drugs were not recommended by NICE, the Royal College of Physicians or the British National Formulary.

It was also said that Ms Hudson kept “absolutely atrocious” patient records and did not measure the body mass index (BMI) of patients.

Ms Hudson, who was not present during the hearing, claimed in her response that she was an “accountable person” and allowed to sell controlled drugs.

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Her claim was rejected by the panel, chaired by Robin Somerville, which concluded the nurse had no power to supply controlled medications.

Mr Somerville said: “The panel is of the view that the manner in which Ms Hudson supplied controlled drugs was unlawful and contrary to the Misuse of Drugs Act.”

In addition Ms Hudson was found to have not made appropriate arrangements for the recording of medications, supplied medications without patients having seen a doctor, failed to adequately store medicines and did not maintain an adequate standard of patient records.

Mr Somerville added that as a registered nurse, Ms Hudson knew that not recording patients’ BMIs and changing prescriptions would put patients at risk.

The panel said the aggravating features in the case were the “potential for patient harm, unlawful activity and the repetitious nature of her actions, despite warnings from the CQC”.

It also took into account Ms Hudson’s longevity of service and no previous referrals to the NMC before striking her off the nursing register.

Ms Hudson, who has until October 4 to lodge an appeal, has closed The Diet Centre and is no longer practising as a nurse, the panel was informed.

The Hunts Post tried to contact Ms Hudson, but was told she has moved to Spain.