Derbyshire paramedic suspended for using anaesthetic gas
A Derbyshire-based paramedic has been suspended for taking an anaesthetic gas while on duty.
Nigel Moore was seen breathing Entonox as he got into an East Midlands Ambulance Service fast response vehicle in September 2010.
A Health Professions Council (HPC) committee heard Moore had admitted using the gas to relieve stress.
Suspending him for a year, the panel said there was a "real risk that patients could have been put at risk".
The HPC's Conduct and Competence Committee heard Moore was based at Heath Ambulance station in Derbyshire.
He was a team leader, responsible for managing junior staff, responding to emergency calls and managing vehicle and equipment problems.
Witness statements said Moore had been seen taking the gas, which is 50% oxygen and 50% nitrous oxide, in the vehicle.
When he got out he was unsteady on his feet, his speech was slurred and he had the appearance of being intoxicated, the committee was told.
The panel heard Moore, who had 28 years experience with the ambulances service, had admitted occasionally taking the gas for several months to deal with depression, stress and work pressures.
Panel chair Derek Adrian-Harris said Moore had been in a position of trust "which he abused by using the Entonox, and set a very poor example to his junior colleagues".
"He has brought the profession into disrepute. There was a real risk that patients could have been put at risk, given the condition in which the Registrant was found."
East Midlands Ambulance Service declined to comment on the case but confirmed Moore had resigned from the service earlier this year.