A prison nursing boss from Fife who took controlled weight loss drugs into one of Scotland’s toughest high-security jails faces a disciplinary probe.
Belinda Gallacher, nursing team leader at HMP Glenochil Health Centre, run by NHS Forth Valley, was caught by guards with a tub of steroids, a court was told.
Methandienone pills are sometimes abused for physique and performance-enhancing purposes. Gallacher was said to have had it for “slimming”.
NHS Forth Valley said yesterday it is investigating and Gallacher has been referred to the Nursing and Midwifery Council. The professional disciplinary body for nurses could reprimand or suspend Gallacher, or order her to be struck off the nurses’ register.
Alloa Sheriff Court was told that “ironically” Gallacher was the NHS team leader in mental health and addiction services at the Clackmannanshire prison when the incident, linked to her “disorder”, happened.
Susannah Hutchison, prosecuting, said: “The accused arrived at work, passed through the metal detectors and the alarm was set off.
“A routine search was carried out, and a sealed tub taken from her pocket.
“She was taken to the prison governor’s office and indicated the contents were for weight loss. She was dismissed from the prison and referred to the NHS for an investigation.”
Gallacher, 40, of Sandpiper Gardens, Dunfermline, pled guilty to taking the drug into the jail on March 8.
She further admitted possessing another steroid, Class C controlled drug Oxandrolone, at her home address.
Defence solicitor Robert Smith said Gallacher had no previous convictions, adding: “She has an ongoing difficulty with her weight, and is very conscious of her body. She bought these items for slimming purposes.
“She herself described what happened as a catastrophic mistake.
“There are possible issues in relation to her employment, and as a result of publicity following her last appearance, she’s no longer allowed to see patients.
“She has found the whole experience devastating.”
Sheriff Craig Harris told Gallacher: “I want to make it absolutely clear, this is not a case of smuggling drugs into prison. This was clearly a case of you possessing this drug for your own purposes, which is linked to a disorder, and something which you have sought out help for.
“In the exceptional circumstances of this case, I do consider the conviction itself is significant punishment.
“You will be admonished and dismissed.”