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Nurse struck off by NMC after selling slimming pills

Joyce Kirkham has been struck off after a fitness to practise hearing

Nurse Joyce Kirkham has been struck off after a Nursing and Midwifery Council fitness to practise hearing

A nurse has been struck off by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) after selling slimming pills without proper licenses or qualifications leading one patient to be hospitalised.

Patient was admitted to an emergency department

Joyce Kirkham supplied controlled drugs to patients through her private Medi-Slim clinic in Widnes, Cheshire, between 2010 and 2015 despite not having nurse prescribing qualifications or the required medical or business licenses.

On one occasion a patient was admitted to an emergency department with uncontrolled hypertension having been prescribed 32.5mg phentermine – which is unlicensed for

Nurse Joyce Kirkham has been struck off after a Nursing and Midwifery Council fitness to practise hearing

Close-up photograph of phentermine capsules
Appetite-supressant phentermine, which was withdrawn from the UK market in 2000 Picture: Alamy

A nurse has been struck off by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) after selling slimming pills without proper licenses or qualifications leading one patient to be hospitalised.

Patient was admitted to an emergency department

Joyce Kirkham supplied controlled drugs to patients through her private Medi-Slim clinic in Widnes, Cheshire, between 2010 and 2015 despite not having nurse prescribing qualifications or the required medical or business licenses.

On one occasion a patient was admitted to an emergency department with uncontrolled hypertension having been prescribed 32.5mg phentermine – which is unlicensed for use in the UK – as a slimming aid by Ms Kirkham.

The incident led to an investigation and inspection by NHS England and Cheshire Police with Ms Kirkham being acquitted in court in 2019. It also brought Ms Kirkham to the attention of the NMC which earlier this month found all charges against her proven and struck her off the nursing register.

NMC explains its decision after a no-show from struck-off nurse

The panel said it was necessary to strike off rather than suspend Ms Kirkham due to her lack of engagement with regulatory processes and for reasons of public confidence.

‘This order was necessary to mark the importance of maintaining public confidence in the profession, and to send to the public and the profession a clear message about the standard of behaviour required of a registered nurse,’ the panel said.

The posession and administration of schedule 3 controlled drugs requires licenses from the Home Office and Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, and the dispensing of all controlled drugs should be checked by a second person for accuracy and clinical safety.

Ms Kirkham had none of these licenses and there was no evidence that a second checker had been involved.

Ms Kirkham has 28 days to appeal the striking off order; if no appeal is made she will be struck off the register.


Find out more

Nursing and Midwifery Council Fitness to Practise Committee meeting report


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