CCTV catches nurse who stole elderly patient’s bank cards


A nurse who stole bank cards from the wallet of a vulnerable geriatric patient in Rockhampton Base Hospital has had her registration suspended.

Lynette Joy Fletcher used the cards to buy $227 worth of goods and services, before the patient's daughter noticed unusual transactions on her mother's bank cards, a tribunal heard.

The patient's wallet had been kept in a locked drawer in her hospital bedside table, which nurses could open with a key to get to patients' medication.

The enrolled nurse, who worked in the patient's ward, was caught on CCTV using the stolen cards on numerous occasions, Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal heard.

In June, last year, Fletcher, 59, pleaded guilty in Rockhampton Magistrates Court to stealing bank cards in 2018 and six counts of fraud.

She was fined $1250, with no convictions recorded.

The Health Ombudsman brought disciplinary action against Fletcher because of her criminal convictions and because she had failed to tell the Nursing and Midwifery Board about being charged.

Fletcher also had made a false declaration to the Australian Health Practitioner Agency when seeking to renew her registration.

A tribunal member said Fletcher's conduct was serious and involved calculated acts of dishonesty and multiple purchases over a number of days.

The elderly patient in the geriatric and rehabilitation unit had not been able to detect that her cards had been stolen.

Fletcher had abused the trust of the vulnerable patient and her employer, the member said.

Fletcher, whose registration was subject to conditions from August, last year, has not practised as a nurse since she lost her job in December, 2018.

She is now working as a case worker with prisoners.

The tribunal heard Fletcher had suffered from a number of complex chronic medical problems and since mid-2018 she had experienced chronic headaches and trouble with short-term memory.

On November 4, the tribunal ordered that Fletcher be reprimanded for professional misconduct and her registration be suspended for three months.

Conditions on her registration were set aside.

Originally published as CCTV catches nurse who stole elderly patient's bank cards

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