Two nurses have today (Thursday 5th October) been found guilty of unlawfully drugging patients following allegations they ill-treated those in their care for their own amusement and an easy life.
Preston Crown Court heard that the two nurses, named as Catherine Hudson, 54, and Charlotte Wilmot, 48, worked on a stroke unit at Blackpool Victoria Hospital in Lancashire between February 2017 and November 2018
Hudson and Wilmot faced a total of nine counts concerning five patients, with Hudson found not guilty of three counts. Wilmot was also found guilty of encouraging Hudson to sedate a patient.
The Lancashire Police investigation began following a student nurse on a work placement reporting that Hudson gave unprescribed Zopiclone, a sleeping pill said to be potentially life threatening if taken inappropriately, to a patient in November 2018. The student nurse blew the whistle on the practice.
As a consequence, five members of staff were later charged with stealing drugs from the unit, the investigation having found that in September and October 2018, 1100 zopiclone tablets were dispensed from the hospital pharmacy for use in the stroke unit. Only 207 were reported as having been prescribed and 222 recorded as being administered, leaving 671 unaccounted for. Hudson and Wilmot were also charged with conspiring to ill-treat their patients.
During the investigation, Police installed a covert system into Hudson’s home in Coriander Close, Blackpool. In a conversation, Hudson was heard to tell a family member. ‘It’s almost like a hidden little inside rule that we all have, that we stick together whatever you do and it’s taken to the grave. We say this all the time. We take it to the grave, and this stupid fucking student has spoiled it for all.’
The prosecution told the jury that messages exchanged between Hudson, an experienced Band 5 registered nurse, and Wilmot, a Band 4 assistant practitioner, revealed a culture of abuse.
The jury at Preston Crown Court today (Thursday 5th October) found Hudson unanimously guilty of ill-treating two patients, conspiracy to ill-treat and theft. She was cleared of three further counts of ill treatment. Wilmot was found guilty of conspiracy to ill-treat and encouraging the commission of an offence. They will be sentenced at a later date.
Hudson has been remanded in custody. Wilmot, of Bowland Crescent, has been granted bail but will return to court to face sentence at the later date.