Wednesday 26 October 2016

Nurse is accused of using terminally ill man's ATM card to withdraw €5,300

Liz Farsaci

Published 15/04/2016 | 02:30

Photo: PA
Photo: PA

A nurse allegedly withdrew large sums of money using an ATM card belonging to a terminally ill nursing home resident.

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The registered nurse is facing allegations of professional misconduct and non-compliance with the code of professional conduct at a fitness to practise inquiry.

It is alleged that nurse Elizabeth Yvonne Williamson (née Claffey), while working at the Bloomfield Care Centre in Rathfarnham, Dublin, used an ATM card belonging to a resident, referred to as KD, without his consent to withdraw large sums of money.

Ms Williamson allegedly made withdrawals between October 2011 and May 2012.

Ms Williamson allegedly withdrew approximately €5,300 at various times between October 10, 2011 and May 8, 2012.

It is further alleged that Ms Williamson used the elderly resident's ATM card on April 6, 2012 at an Asda shop in Northern Ireland, making a purchase of more than €250.

A hearing yesterday took place at the Nursing and Midwifery Board's headquarters in Blackrock, Co Dublin.

The inquiry heard that KD, who is now deceased, was a "vulnerable, frail and elderly man receiving palliative care".

KD, who suffered terminal cancer, was placed at Bloomfield Centre after alleged behavioural issues at another facility.

Phillip Farrelly told the inquiry he knew KD for many years, as they both had been long-term residents in the Howth area.

Mr Farrelly said that during one visit to Bloomfield, KD told him that one of the nurses had used his bank card and PIN code to make purchases for him. "I felt upset by this," Mr Farrelly told the inquiry.

"KD was in his 70s. I felt there was only one [way] this was going and that was disappointment for KD."

In a letter written to the Nursing Board's Preliminary Proceedings Committee prior to the inquiry, Ms Williamson argued that all the withdrawals she made using KD's card were made with his knowledge and at his request.

The matter of came to light in October 2012 after KD wrote to his bank regarding potential theft from his account. After a garda investigation into the matter, Ms Williamson repaid KD €6,000 and wrote a letter of apology to him, the inquiry heard.

More than 10 witnesses are expected to give evidence today.

Irish Independent

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