A NURSE has been accused of taking morphine-based drugs meant for A&E patients while on duty.

Sally Jennifer Davies, who was employed as a mental health liaison nurse at Airedale Hospital at Steeton, has already lost her job, but could be permanently struck off by the Nursing and Midwifery Council if the allegations are found against her next week.

She is accused of taking a controlled drug from a cabinet in the hospital's Accident and Emergency department without permission, then consuming it while on duty, for three days running - August 31, September 1 and September 2, 2012.

The drug in question was the morphine-based strong painkiller Oramorph.

She is also accused of dishonestly altering a prescription that had been issued to her, by adding a request for 'Dihydrocodeine 30mg x 20' - a strong opioid painkiller - then presenting the prescription to staff at the Hussain Dispensing Chemist.

She has been suspended from the nursing register ahead of next week's hearing in which a panel from the Nursing and Midwifery Council will consider the allegations.

The three-day Conduct and Competence Committee hearing is being held in London and begins on Monday. If the panel finds the allegations proven, they can decide to strike the nurse off the nursing register.

The nurse had been employed by Bradford District Care Trust, the body which provides mental health services for people in Bradford, Airedale and Craven.

The Trust would not say whether it had sacked her, citing confidentiality reasons, but said "appropriate action" had been taken.

Sandra Knight, director of human resources and organisational development, said: “The individual concerned is no longer employed by the Trust.

"Bradford District Care Trust sets very high standards for its staff in terms of their conduct.

"At the time of the incident we completed an internal investigation and appropriate action was taken in line with our policies, including referral to the Nursing and Midwifery Council, which is holding a Conduct and Competence Committee hearing for the individual next week.”

Mental health liaison nurses are employed to help bridge the gap between the treatment of physical and mental conditions in the NHS.

An estimated 72 per cent of frequent attendees at A&E departments across the country are said to have a significant mental health problem.