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Pharmacist suspended for dishonest use of Tesco Clubcard

Ethics Pharmacist Sofia Silva Brito Leonardo Rosa, registration number 2062636, has been suspended from the register for one month after using a Tesco Clubcard to obtain points to which she was not entitled while working as a locum at an in-store pharmacy in Dorset

A pharmacist has been suspended from the register for one month after using a Tesco Clubcard to obtain points to which she was not entitled while working as a locum at an in-store pharmacy in Dorset.

Ms Sofia Silva Brito Leonardo Rosa, registration number 2062636, used the Clubcard on 55 occasions between January 8 and 25 2009 to obtain points worth £25.18 on her card, the General Pharmaceutical Council's fitness to practice committee heard.

The majority of the transactions were linked to a promotion Tesco was running at the time, in which one of the prizes was 50 extra Clubcard points when at least £1.50 was spent on any product at the pharmacy counter. Having acquired a winning voucher, Ms Rosa used her own card to obtain points earned on purchases made by customers who either did not have cards or did not use their cards.

Ms Rosa accepted that what she had done was wrong and that she had used her card improperly, but maintained that she was not dishonest as she did not realise at the time that what she was doing was wrong. It was her view that if a customer had consented to the use of points in this way, which she said they had, she could not be doing anything wrong, the fitness to practice committee reported.

The committee did not find that Ms Rosa's actions were dishonest in relation to gaining the consent of customers for use of their cards, but it ruled that she had acted dishonestly in relation to the 43 occasions on which the 50 points voucher was used and showed a "lack of insight" because she was not entitled to these points.  

In reaching its decision, the committee cited mitigating factors such as the impressive testimonials from friends and fellow pharmacists Ms Rosa had received, and called her "hardworking, trustworthy and responsible."  

Summing up, committee chairman Patrick Milmo said that while Ms Rosa had shown remorse, she had acted dishonestly, albeit on a small scale. "The predominant consideration exercising our minds is that the message must be sent to profession and public that dishonest conduct, even on a small scale, is unacceptable. For that reason we feel bound to direct a period of suspension."

Ms Rosa was suspended for a period of one month, but she is entitled to appeal against the decision.

14 Comments

Moktadiul Alam, Community pharmacist

GPhC is expensive regulator to keep for registrants to deal with silly issue like this. Their decision biased by multiples and the affect of GPhC's decision on multiples not on the registrants. Its clearly visible when I see Boots staff posing with company badge on GPhC's home page. They should make better use of our fees.

Amal England, Public Relations

If you are a professional and you don't know that claiming points you are not entitled to, I find this surprising. For anyone else who is thinking about doing this, be warned that misuse of points is a serious offence: if a single person claims points they are not entitled to in one branch, multiply this by the total number of stores the company has, then it makes sense to punish offenders in a way that makes it unappealing to others. Only recently a staff member working for one of the big four supermarkets was sacked for claiming points for reusing the maximum number of bags instead of the one or two bags they were actually reusing, gaining a mere few Pennies. It seems harsh but if a clear message is not sent to other staff then it can be very costly for the company.

Moktadiul Alam, Community pharmacist

We studied for 4 years and trained for 1 year not for the slavery of super market. We are professional and we deserve better treatment from multiples.

Mansukhlal Shah, Locum pharmacist

It seems GPHC have nothing better to do and I wonder how and if they will respond to all the complaints posted here.

What complete and utter nonsense!!!

VAL MADDEN, Hospital pharmacist

I cannot believe what I am reading .What a waste of time , and money ( my fees) bringing this case . This is a tesco civil matter , if I asa customer chose to give away my points to someone else does that make that person dishonest? eg when shopping with my daughter if I put my points on her card is she commiting an offence . No doubt Ms Rosa was a little silly . I would be hesi
tant to ask a customer / patient for their points it is not dignified howeve a letter of reprimand would have been more appropriate

Indrakumar ( Andy) Bakhai, Other pharmacist

I dissent from the Committees's opnion, The outcome, which is disproportionate and harsh. Justifies an appeal to restore her name on the Register."
What message does the committee wish to send?"The predominant consideration exercising our minds is that the message must be sent to profession and public that dishonest conduct, even on a small scale, is unacceptable." I agree with Mr Diamond " A Bonkus" approach to even bring before the GPhc!!!
I A Bakhai

Sher Khan, Locum pharmacist

This situation has been so over amplified. I dread to think what if I go over my parking meter by a minute!

Ryszard Cygan, Superintendent Pharmacist

Mountains and molehills spring to mind. I would be interested to know how the GMC would have reacted to a similar crime?

Barry Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

I couldn't agree more with everyone else. OK yes it was a stupid thing to do but surely we have a better way of dealing with cases such as this - come on £25.18!!

This was two and a half years ago. GPhC lets think of another way to deal with this type of thing. We have to expect the GPhC to protect the public but I'm sure this poor pharmacist has suffered enough in worrying about what will happen over the last 30 months. I hope Ms Rosa appeals and gets admonished.

Gerry Diamond, Primary care pharmacist

I think that this is completely bonkers and a waste of the committees valuable time. A letter of reprimand or caution would have been nore apt.

Kevin Hope, Pharmacist Director

Agree.
Another thing how clear are Tesco's policies?
Scapegoat springs to mind immediately as well as "Enterprise"
Admonishment adequate.

Jennifer Dunlop, Hospital pharmacist

I'm surprised Tesco haven't set up their system so that staff can't use other people's unclaimed points for their own benefit.

Schar Minkel, Community pharmacist

Agree, completely OTT. Is this how they spend our fees??

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