An NHS worker who was convicted of ferrying Class A drugs for a county lines gang has been struck off following a tribunal.
Operating department practitioner Natalia Jack, 29, was found sitting in a parked black Audi outside a flat suspected of being involved in drug activities in Cambridge in February 2019.
Jack insisted she had driven from London to the flat to give someone a massage but officers who searched her vehicle found heroin and crack cocaine worth £1,800 inside.
Last year she was convicted of possessing Class A drugs with intent to supply and was jailed for 30 months.
A Health and Care Professions Tribunal Service hearing was told that Jack’s NHS role meant she handled drugs while assisting surgeons in theatre.
The tribunal, which was held online, has now ruled that Jack’s conviction meant her “fitness to practise is impaired”.
Following her arrest in 2019, Jack claimed to have been set up, telling Cambridgeshire Police that the drugs found in her car were put there by somebody else.
The judge at her trial at Peterborough Crown Court said it was not clear what Jack’s motives were, but that she had acted as a courier for a county lines drug operation.
Jack told the tribunal she regretted her actions and that this was an “isolated incident”, adding that she “would love to be able to return to NHS work”.
However, despite her insistence that she has never put patients at risk during her work and that what she was convicted of was “not a deliberate act”, the tribunal panel ruled she has “failed to acknowledge the impact of her offending behaviour on the victims, the public, and the profession”.
In their decision to strike off Jack, the panel said she “seriously underestimated the impact of her conviction”, adding: “A striking off order is a sanction of last resort for serious, persistent, deliberate or reckless acts involving… criminal convictions for serious offences.”
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