A Riverina woman has been permanently banned from working or volunteering in health services after stealing a palliative care patient's bank card and using it to buy beer and tobacco.
The theft occurred while Robyn Joy Burgun, 54, was employed as an assistant in nursing (AIN) at Junee Hospital's residential aged-care facility.
In May this year, Burgun was sentenced in Junee Local Court to a 12-month community corrections order after she pleaded guilty to dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception.
The NSW Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) then investigated the matter. Its findings revealed Burgun admitted that she took the patient's bank card and spent $117.85 on a carton of Victoria Bitter and tobacco at the town's IGA.
She returned the card the next day, but the matter was reported to the facility by the patient's wife, who informed police. The incident was captured on CCTV footage.
Burgun was charged on March 3 and the HCCC subsequently received a complaint from the Murrumbidgee Local Health District about the allegation.
"As an AIN, Ms Burgun was employed to attend to the personal care needs of aged-care residents at the facility under limited or indirect supervision," the HCCC said.
"Ms Burgun had access to patients' rooms, including the rooms of Patient A.
"Patient A was a permanent resident within the facility under constant 24-hour palliative care where he is bed-bound."
The HCCC noted Burgun had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and she had been ordered to pay compensation of $117.85 to the patient.
"Ms Burgun was afforded significant trust by the residents of the facility and their families to provide a safe environment and deliver appropriate health to residents who were particularly vulnerable," the HCCC said.
"Ms Burgun deliberately took advantage of her professional position and capacity to access the personal effects of the patient's entrusted into her care for her own financial gain.
"[She] has failed to cooperate with the commission's investigation or to express any insight into the seriousness of her breach of trust."
The commission found Burgun breached the code of conduct by failing to provide health services safely and ethically and she "poses a significant risk to the health and safety of members of the public".
The HCCC prohibited Burgun from providing, or causing to be provided, any health services, either in paid employment or voluntarily, to any member of the public.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: