Nurse on trial says she showed patients only ‘care and devotion’
Nurse Catherine Hudson has admitted stealing medications, but denies charges of ill-treatment and inappropriately sedating patients at a Blackpool stroke unit
A nurse accused of ill-treatment of patients has told a jury she showed ‘nothing but care and devotion’ to patients and their families on the stroke unit where she worked.
Understaffing on the stroke unit where nurse is accused of ill-treating patients
Catherine Hudson is alleged to have drugged patients at Blackpool Victoria Hospital for her ‘own amusement’ and an ‘easy life’ during work shifts.
Ms Hudson told the court she wanted to work in the specialist area of treatment after her father became unwell after having a number of strokes. She qualified as a nurse in 2010 and said she loved her job at Blackpool Victoria.
‘It was just fulfilling. To see a patient through a journey following a stroke… and to see them through their rehab stage and then hopefully see them leave with their families,’ she said.
Asked if there were occasions when she did not enjoy her job, she said: ‘It was very difficult at times. The lack of staff was absolutely appalling to a completely dangerous level.
‘Terrible understaffing; three trained nurses for 40 patients.’
Defendant apologises for ‘appalling’ WhatsApp messages
The Crown say WhatsApp messages between Ms Hudson and colleagues revealed a ‘culture of abuse’ on the unit.
In one message, Ms Hudson wrote: ‘I sedated one of them to within an inch of her life lol. Bet she’s flat for a week haha xxx.’
Giving evidence at Preston Crown Court on 19 September, Ms Hudson apologised for the messages.
She said: ‘I would say my behaviour in private was appalling, absolutely appalling, and I can do nothing but apologise for my behaviour in terms of the text messages.
‘My behaviour towards patients and families was nothing but care and devotion.’
Her barrister, Mark Rhind KC, asked: ‘Do you understand that some people reading these messages and how you refer to people may raise an eyebrow that you found your job fulfilling and enjoying?’
Ms Hudson replied: ‘I understand, yes.’
Jurors heard her employment was terminated in May 2020 and that the band 5 qualified nurse expected to be struck off following the conclusion of the criminal proceedings.
Catherine Hudson denies ill-treatment charges
She has admitted the theft of medicine and conspiracy to steal medicine from the hospital but denies ill-treating four patients and stealing the medicine Mebeverine, which was intended for a patient who was at the end of life.
Colleague Charlotte Wilmot, a band 4 assistant practitioner, denies encouraging Ms Hudson to sedate one of those patients. Both defendants have also pleaded not guilty to conspiring to ill-treat another patient.
The alleged ill-treatment offences are said to have taken place between February 2017 and November 2018.
The trial continues.
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