Nurse found guilty of professional misconduct

A nurse who lost her job after taking €100 from a multiple sclerosis sufferer has been found guilty of professional misconduct.

Mary Grace Dela Cruz Alegarme who works in the oncology department at Letterkenny University Hospital, made full admissions at the start of the hearing yesterday, including the fact that she took money from the residential patient in March 2013.

Ms Alegarme worked as a nurse at the Donegal Cheshire Apartments.

The apartments, located in Letterkenny, provide 24-hour residential care to people with serious physical and sensory disabilities.

One resident, referred to as Patient A, is a 53-year-old man suffering from progressive multiple sclerosis who uses a wheelchair and is wholly dependent on others.

Kate Meehan, who has worked as Patient A's HSE key worker for 14 years was made aware of the situtation during a visit, alerted management, and an investigation was conducted.

Ms Alegarme, who admitted to the incident, was dismissed from her position on 17 June 2013.

During her evidence, Ms Alegarme made a heartfelt apology for her mistake, and to Patient A.

Ms Alegarme also found guilty of breaching the nurses' code of conduct at the fitness to practice inquiry, which took place at the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland's headquarters in Blackrock, Co Dublin.

The inquiry committee did not make a finding of poor professional performance.