Donegal woman returns for trial over false prescriptions charges


A former employee of Strabane Health Centre has been returned for trial on multiple charges relating to false prescriptions and altering clinical record systems, over an alleged five year period.

Bernadette McCarter (62) with an address in St Johnston, Donegal faces a total of 14 charges comprising of seven counts each of fraud by abuse of position and fraud by false representation.

Ms McCarter was previously brought to Strabane Magistrates Court by way of European Arrest Warrant, and later released on bail.

It is alleged whilst occupying a position she was expected to safeguard, McCarter dishonestly abused this by accessing Strabane Health Centre's clinical record system and adding false prescriptions for medications.

She then produced unauthorised prescription forms and presented these at pharmacies for dispensing.

McCarter then allegedly deleted all references to the prescriptions from the clinical record system.

The charges states this was done with intention to make personal gain and cause loss to the Health and Social Care Board.

Offending is alleged to have occurred on numerous dates between 2008 and 2013.

During a committal hearing today (Thursday) a prosecuting lawyer told the court there is a case to answer which was agreed by District Judge Mark McGarrity.

McCarter did not object to the proceedings and chose not to call witnesses or give evidence on her own behalf at this stage.

Judge Garrity remanded her on continuing bail, and ordered her to appear before Dungannon Crown Court for arraignment next month.