An NHS doctor remains suspended from work after stealing drugs and needles to give her an energy boost but initially blagged that they were to clean her fish tank.
Dr Suzy Ling was last year suspended for 12 months for foraging equipment stocks and injecting herself while on duty at Salisbury District Hospital in Wiltshire.
A Medical Practitioners Tribunal has now extended her stay for another year as she displays only limited insight into the gravity of her wrongdoing.
The doped-up paediatrician was first discovered when a registrar noticed purple discolourations on Dr Suzy Ling’s hand, before finding a brown paper bag with used cannulas and sharps in her coat pocket.
The registrar told the tribunal that Dr Ling had been behaving oddly that day and appeared lethargic and kept rubbing her face.
Another doctor told the tribunal that she was extremely pale and waxy in appearance and her hand looked odd as it was purple and enlarged.
Initially when confronted Dr Ling insisted her haggard appearance was down to a loss of fluids, saying she used to drink too much Diet Iron Brew and while attempting to cut down had not had sufficient water as a replacement.
She then even tried to claim she’d only stolen the needles to clean her fish tank.
In a bizarre statement given to the hospital and read out to the tribunal, she said that on one occasion, after discussing it with the nurses on shift, she took a few of the small orange, sharp needles, and some small syringes.
She said that she took them home to use in her marine fish tank, as she needed to draw up, and inject a type of pest anemone.
Dr Ling was barred by the hospital in 2017 and police ransacked her house and questioned her, although they eventually dropped the case.
However, when Dr Ling was interviewed by the General Medical Council (GMC) in 2019, she admitted self-injecting to keep her focused during her work.
She said that she’d made an enormous mistake and took an unnamed drug, needles, syringes and cannulas, from the paediatric ward, of Salisbury District Hospital, and she said that she self-injected the unnamed drug, on more than one occasion, usually whilst working.
And that she did this because it gave her an energy boost, and focus, that helped her cope with long, and variable hours, and that she knew this was wrong, and that she accepts that it was her own fault and no one else’s.
She should, of course, be fired because she was on drugs whilst on duty, and there’s no excuse for that, and now she needs help with her addiction, and she should never be able to get a job as a doctor again because she can’t ever be trusted again.
She will, of course, probably get fired because theft of medications is extremely serious. However, physicians and nurses are human, they’re not robots, and they do make mistakes.