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Boots accuracy technician struck off after 'falsifying clinical checks'

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Boots accuracy technician struck off after 'falsifying clinical checks'

An accuracy checking technician accused of falsifying the initials of pharmacists in the clinical check box on a number of prescriptions has been struck off by the GPhC. 

Jennie Dawn Collins was removed from the register of pharmacy technicians after a June 3 fitness to practise hearing where it was determined she had falsified the initials of two pharmacists to make it appear that a pharmacist had performed a clinical check on up to 25 prescriptions between March and April 2021.

Ms Collins was working at the London Road branch of Boots in Lowestoft at the relevant time, having been employed by the company since November 2009. She worked primarily in a room dedicated to preparing dosette boxes. 

Concerns were raised when two dispenser colleagues found that prescriptions were marked as clinically checked without Ms Collins having taken them to an on-duty pharmacist, leading to a meeting with her store manager who presented her with prescriptions stamped with his own initials despite the fact he did not have the authority to carry out clinical checks.  

Ms Collins first denied any inappropriate behaviour, later acknowledging in a June 3 2021 disciplinary hearing that she had “made a misjudgement on two days” and claimed she had a “verbal agreement” with one of the pharmacists whose initials she had falsified – a claim flatly denied by the pharmacist in oral evidence given to the GPhC. Ms Collins’ employment with Boots was terminated in August 2021. 

During the June FtP hearing, which Ms Collins did not attend, two pharmacists who had worked with her were shown 25 prescriptions stamped with their initials on dates between March 23 and April 27 2021. 

In each case, the FtP committee found that the prescriptions had been falsified and that Ms Collins had failed to ensure the prescriptions were clinically checked as required.  

Considering the evidence, the FtP committee found Ms Collins had engaged in “very serious” dishonest behaviour with her professional colleagues and “abused their trust” and that she had “failed to make the care of patients her first concern”. 

“Fellow registrant and members of the public would consider the conduct of the registrant to be seriously reprehensible and indeed shocking,” said the committee. 

While it noted her prior statement that the dosette box area of the pharmacy was extremely busy at the time – a claim contested by some of her colleagues – the committee found that the falsification of a pharmacist’s initials on prescriptions “cannot be condoned, however busy the practice”. 

The committee said that Ms Collins, who no longer wishes to practise as a pharmacy technician, had failed to show any insight into her actions or demonstrate that she had taken any steps to remediate her behaviour. It concluded that removal from the register was the “only proportionate and appropriate outcome” following this “gross breach of trust”.

Ms Collins, who has epilepsy and left side paralysis, brought a claim with the employment tribunal following her dismissal, citing disability discrimination and unfair dismissal and accusing Boots of failures in its investigation and the way in which it handled her grievance with the company. 

While the employment tribunal website has not published an update on the case since a preliminary hearing in June last year, her mother Barbara Collins wrote to the GPhC in May 2024 claiming that Boots had “offered a financial settlement” via its solicitors and that Ms Collins had accepted this.

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