A lab worker at the Royal North Shore Hospital exchanged patient samples to “attack and discredit” a colleague.

A colleague, a hospital scientist, told the commission that the working relationship between Reader and “Staff A” could be “icy”.

Laboratory staff noted that between March and June 2020, when Staff A was on duty “cutting up” samples, tissue samples were exchanged four times. A colleague told the commission that they became suspicious when they found that Reader only looked for morning-morning samples of gallbladder and appendix that Staff A had “cut up” (dissect and describe samples before sending them to cassettes for processing laid).


After the second incident on May 25, Employee A was “devastated” at what appeared to have been another mistake and was relieved of his detached duties for three weeks. Another colleague told the commission that staff member A “suspected that she had been framed”.

When she returned to her assignment three weeks later, she began taking photos of her cut up work, which she could use as evidence when the samples were mixed again on June 23 and 25. In each case, Reader was the operator responsible for unpacking the tissue processor.

The commission said Reader had shown no remorse or insight into her behavior “despite the overwhelming evidence” and therefore posed an ongoing threat to the health and safety of the public.

The decision prevents Reader from providing future healthcare services, including medical, hospital, pharmaceutical, forensic pathology, or health education services.

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Justin Scaccy

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