Nurse accused of trying to sell herbal remedies to schizophrenic woman she met in Harlesden

Grace Loughran allegedly told patient not to use conventional medicines

A psychiatric nurse tried to persuade a schizophrenic woman to swap her conventional medicine for herbal remedies from a company she was connected with, a tribunal heard.

Grace Loughran, 53, allegedly arranged to meet the patient and take her to a Chinese medicine shop - promising that alternative remedies would be more effective than her existing medication.

The woman, who is known as Patient A, first met Loughran in 2007 when she began attending the Roundwood Day Treatment Centre in Harlesden, but stopped going after the shop episode on September 9, 2009.

The woman became suspicious when Loughran tried to take bank account details from her, the Nursing and Midwifery Council heard.

Patient A also claimed Loughran told her the herbal tea would help to improve her health and would be better than her current prescribed medication.

She was asked to pay for the herbs and provide her account details, the panel heard.

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An investigation was launched after Patient A told psychiatrist Ooshar Mestry about her meeting with Loughran.

Dr Mestry said in a statement: “The suggestion that she should stop taking her medication is very dangerous.”

Hannah Fellows, for the NMC, told the panel Dr Mestry had described patient A as vulnerable, naive, impressionable and open to exploitation.

Loughran, who is not attending the hearing, accepts she did not declare her involvement with the Chinese herbal company Tiens as a conflict of interest to the trust and that she tried to sell Patient A the herbs with the intention of obtaining financial gain.

But she denies that her actions in not doing so were dishonest.

She also denies trying to persuade Patient A to disclose her bank details and claiming that the herbs would be better for her than prescribed medication.

The hearing continues.