28 Dec 2015

Vet nurse sacked over drug orders

1:07 pm on 28 December 2015

A veterinary nurse sacked for ordering medicine for her own use has lost her case for unfair dismissal.

The Employment Relations Authority found Emma Campbell, a senior veterinary nurse, should have known she was acting illegally.

Ms Campbell was responsible for ordering drugs at Holistic Vets in Tauranga.

In October last year, a co-worker found the prescription drug Imovane, which is used to treat insomnia, in a box delivered to the company.

Ms Campbell initially said she had mistaken the drug for another with a similar name, then later that she thought vets were allowed to order prescription medicine under company policy.

But a subsequent investigation found she had also earlier ordered the anti-pain medicines Voltaren and Brufen.

She was sacked by Holistic Vets, which also discovered a co-worker had seen Ms Campbell take some cat food from the office.

"You have conducted yourself in a way that has seriously undermined the trust and confidence essential to the continuation of the employment relationship," it said in a letter.

Under law, vets may order human prescription medicine for use on animals but must not do so for their own use.

The authority found Ms Campbell was experienced enough to know she was acting illegally.