A CWMBRAN nurse has been struck off for faking Botox prescriptions worth £3,300 from the NHS to use in her private beauty business.
Mother-of-two Kate Matthew, 35, photocopied blank prescriptions signed by a doctor for the expensive Botox for luxury facial treatments in her personal business after her NHS work.
A disciplinary hearing in Cardiff was told Matthew obtained six prescriptions by using the photocopied signature of a doctor she met on a course.
She used the Botox for her private business - Kate Matthew Medical Aesthetics - specialising in lip fillers, eyebrow raises and face lifts.
The nurse was moonlighting from her NHS work as a health visitor for the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board based in Newport when she carried out the fraud.
But she was snared when a pharmacy got in touch with the doctor with a query over one of the prescriptions.
A Nurse and Midwifery Council hearing was told an investigation was then launched - and she admitted she could have put "lives at risk" if her private clients had medical conditions.
Presenting officer Bryony Dongray said: "The doctor received a letter from a private pharmacy.
"Having no idea what the prescription was in relation to the doctor contacted the pharmacy.
"The doctor had written blank prescriptions in good faith. These prescriptions were photocopied and reused on six occasions."
Matthew, from Cwmbran was confronted by a pharmacist the next time she tried to get a new prescription.
She paid for the Botox by credit card but avoided paying a £30 "signature fee" to the doctor for each prescription.
Matthew told the hearing she did not initially confess what she had done to police because she was "in denial."
Giving evidence at the hearing, she said: "I was in so much worry and denial. My head was all over the place.
"I was just in denial. I didn't want to admit to it. I was ashamed.
"My judgement was so clouded at the time it was like information overload."
Asked how her dishonesty affected the profession, she said: "The public trust in our profession and our code of conduct is for us to be trustworthy.
"The public rely on us and they trust us and by being dishonest it was deceiving."
Matthew told the hearing she "cut corners" and put clients at risk. She said: "I could have put their lives at risk. They could have been on medication that I was not aware of. They could have had a reaction."
The hearing was told she eventually pleaded guilty to six counts of fraud six weeks before she was due to go for trial.
Matthew was given an eight months sentence suspended for 18 months and ordered her to carry out 200 hours unpaid work at Cardiff Crown Court last year.
But she is still planning to continue her private practice in a "managerial role" and will hire a nurse to carry out cosmetic procedures.
She was struck off indefinitely from working as a registered nurse by the fitness to practice hearing in Cardiff.
Monica French, chair of the NMC panel, said it would "mark the importance in maintaining public confidence."
She said: "A member of the public would be concerned to hear that a registered nurse's fitness to practice had not been found impaired following a conviction which led to a custodial sentence as severe as yours."