A former NSW aged care nurse who misappropriated restricted medicines and was jailed for pretending to be a home invasion victim has been banned from providing any health service.
Elizabeth Luque’s extensive misconduct was “extremely serious, calculated and dishonest, and sustained over a prolonged period”, the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal said on Friday.
Her “very troubling history of improper, unethical and dishonest conduct”, both within and outside her job, included claiming she’d been told missing drugs had fallen from a trolley, been crushed, spilled on the floor and then destroyed by an unnamed agency nurse.
Found bound and drugged inside her Sydney home in 2015, Luque concocted a story about being the victim of a violent home invasion, which led to her being hospitalised and police investigating an innocent “suspect”.
The tribunal cancelled the 37-year-old’s nursing registration after finding her guilty of professional misconduct and ruling she was unfit in the public interest to practise.
Because of the “very substantial risk” posed by Luque, the tribunal also imposed a ban which included but was not limited to her working as an assistant in nursing, as a personal care assistant and in home care services.
Luque was sacked from at least two Sydney nursing homes after breaching their medication handling policies before she went to work for Safety Australia, providing first aid services at a Sydney railway station.
The day after her arrest for the theft of a handed-in rail customer’s lost wallet and for using his credit card, she was taken to hospital by ambulance after claiming she had been subject to an extremely serious violence during a home invasion.
She was hospitalised for three days but later jailed over the false story.
The tribunal said she also altered documents to make forged training certificates and qualifications for herself.
“We have found that the practitioner moved through three aged care facilities, improperly accessing restricted drugs at each,” it said.
“The unavoidable conclusion is that the practitioner poses a very substantial risk to the health and safety of the public and that the only appropriate outcome is that her registration as a nurse be cancelled.”Do you have an idea for a story?
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