A Paramedic from GWAS has been struck off after altering patient records to cover morphine.

Simon Wade, a paramedic for the Great Western Ambulance Service (GWAS) stole more than 150 individual doses of morphine between December 2010 and April 2011 by altering patient records and forging the signatures of his GWAS colleagues.

He was convicted of theft, fraud by abuse of position and possession of a class A drug at Bristol Crown Court in October.

Wade was also sentenced to a nine-month suspended prison sentence in addition to 240 hours of community work.

Wade was struck off the Health Professions Council (HPC) register following a fitness to practise hearing, meaning that he will no longer be able to work as a paramedic.

Wade was found to have taken ampoules of morphine from locked drug cabinets in ambulance stations in the Bristol area following an investigation by GWAS and Avon and Somerset Police.

It was discovered that in some cases he had falsely stated on patient records that he had given them morphine and on other occasions he forged the names of ambulance service colleagues when signing out the drugs.

Wade claimed that he had started taking morphine after suffering significant back pain but then became dependent on the medication.

As a result of the incidents GWAS reviewed security around access to drugs.

The HPC panel gave Wade credit for admitting the criminal allegations and referring the case to the regulatory health body himself.

The HPC took the decision to strike him off the register due to the "gross breach of trust", the period of time that thefts continued and the risk presented to Wade's patients and colleagues. Wade did not attend the HPC hearing in London.

Chairman of the panel Dr Alexander Yule said: "These convictions were of the utmost seriousness.

"They put patients at risk by Mr Wade operating as a paramedic during a period when he was self-medicating with opiates. "The thefts were repeated over a considerable period of time and involved a significant volume of medication. There would still remain the lack of integrity that resulted in the thefts of these controlled drugs and the deception that surrounded the thefts."


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