Nurse in court for ill-treatment and wilful neglect of patients
Catherine Hudson is on trial after a nursing student raised concerns over improper sedation of patients and the theft of drugs at Blackpool Victoria Hospital
A nurse and an assistant practitioner have appeared in court accused of inappropriate sedation of patients and stealing drugs on a hospital stroke unit.
Nursing student raised concerns while on placement
Catherine Hudson and Charlotte Wilmot are on trial at Preston Crown Court over the alleged ill-treatment of patients while they were employed on the unit at Blackpool Victoria Hospital. The trial is expected to last about four weeks.
A nursing student raised concerns about the events she allegedly witnessed while on placement at the unit in November 2018, the court heard.
Ms Hudson, a band 5 registered nurse, is charged with eight counts of ill-treating and wilfully neglecting patients and three counts of conspiring to steal from her employer, as well as encouraging or assisting an offence. She denies ill-treating four patients and stealing Mebeverine, an antispasmodic medicine.
Ms Wilmot, a band 4 assistant practitioner, is charged with encouraging or assisting an offence. She denies encouraging Ms Hudson to sedate one of the patients.
The charges relate to alleged offences that took place between February 2017 and November 2018.
Opening the case on 6 September, prosecutor Peter Wright said: ‘We say the defendants treated patients not with care and compassion, but with contempt. Patients were ill-treated. They were sedated either for the amusement of these defendants or simply to keep them quiet and to make their life easier and their work less onerous or arduous.’
Text messages from nurse defendant boasted about inappropriate sedation
Mr Wright said a detailed and lengthy investigation into various activities at the hospital, which included an examination of the defendants’ electronic devices, began after concerns were raised.
The court heard Hudson boasted about sedating one of her alleged victims in a text message to another colleague in which she wrote: ‘I sedated one of them to within an inch of her life lol. Bet she’s flat for a week haha xxx.’
One of the sedatives said to have been used was zopiclone, which is potentially life-threatening if given inappropriately.
Mr Wright said Ms Hudson was also involved in depriving patients of prescribed laxatives.
Ms Hudson and Ms Wilmot deny all charges and have pleaded not guilty to conspiring to ill-treat another patient. The trial continues.
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