A FORMER nurse at Ledbury Nursing Home has been suspended from practising for eighteen months, following a number of petty thefts.

A Nursing and Midwifery Council hearing heard that Sorina Radu, a registered nurse, was caught after colleagues carried out a bag search.

The hearing on January 3 this year heard how, last April, Ms Radu, who was a senior support worker at the home, accepted a police caution, having stolen a number of household items to the value of £50.

Some of these items belong to the home, and some belonged to residents.

The hearing heard how a number of items had been discovered by colleagues, following a bag search.

These included two packets of hearing aid batteries; a bottle of fruit squash; a carton of milk; a toilet roll; napkins; tissues; a fishcake from the home’s kitchen; a bar of chocolate taken from a resident; a bottle of perfume belonging to a resident; two plastic beakers; six pieces of cake; a banana; three chocolates taken from a resident; one jar of jam; one Yardley spray taken from a resident; a plastic beaker with beans inside

When challenged by the Deputy Manager, Ms Radu initially denied, but then admitted having stolen the items. She was suspended and escorted from the premises.

The Nursing Home, in Market Street, conducted a disciplinary hearing which resulted in Ms Radu’s dismissal for gross misconduct.

In the course of that disciplinary hearing, Ms Radu provided a statement, in which she asked for understanding and forgiveness.

She said: "I don’t know what happened to me, what was in my mind. I cannot explain ... probably because the next

day I had to come in for another 12 hours, to work again and I did not have time to go shopping anymore, to do something to eat, probably I was stressed…and I made a biggest mistake, which I regret it with all my heart. I appeal to your understanding. I regret what I did because I worked here, trying to do my job very well but in a moment I broke everything.

"I apologise to staff, colleagues but in the first time to residents. Please forgive me.”

However, at the hearing of January 3, the panel considered that whilst Ms Radu had demonstrated "a level of insight into the seriousness of her actions and had expressed regret and remorse, she had not yet demonstrated an understanding of how her actions impacted on the residents at the home, on her colleagues or her employer, or on the reputation of the nursing profession"

Ms Radu’s entry in the NMC register will show that she is subject to an interim suspension order.

The panel considered that "the appropriate period of the interim suspension order was 18 months, having regard to the time which may elapse before any appeal is determined".

The panel members said they were "mindful of the hardship which the imposition of an interim suspension order could cause Ms Radu".

However the panel considered "that any prejudice was outweighed by the public protection and public interest considerations in this case."

The panel agreed that "anyone who enquires about her registration will be told about the order".