Senior nurse and healthcare worker targeted people they disliked to make shifts easier

Hospital workers who drugged stroke patients to make their shifts easier did so for “their own amusement”, a judge has said.

Catherine Hudson, 54, a senior nurse, and Charlotte Wilmot, 48, a healthcare worker, were found guilty on Thursday of mistreating stroke patients at Blackpool Victoria Hospital where there was a “culture of abuse”.

The pair were said to have targeted patients they disliked in a “dangerous and callous” way to secure “an easy life” for themselves, Preston Crown Court  heard.

A misconduct probe discovered messages that revealed Hudson and Wilmot plotting to “kill bed 5” and give another patient “the best sleep she ever had”.

Hudson wrote in one message: “What a lovely day I have had in blue bay today. Sedated all the troublemakers lol xxx.”

Senior nurse gave elderly paraplegic unprescribed sedative to ‘keep her quiet’

Hudson, who also administered an unprescribed sedative to a 76-year-old  paraplegic patient, to “keep her quiet”, was jailed for seven years and two months on Thursday.

Wilmot, who was found to have been involved to a lesser degree, was handed a three-year prison sentence.

Passing sentence, His Honour Judge Altham, the Honorary Recorder of Preston, said: “You were in a position of trust and responsibility. You offended against vulnerable people in your care over a significant period.

“There was in each case a risk of harm. We have heard of the risk of sedatives to stroke patients.

“The relatives of all those patients will always be distressed at the betrayal of trust. There will be a loss of public confidence in the NHS.”

Hospital chiefs alerted police to Hudson’s crimes in Nov 2018 when a student nurse on a work placement told them Hudson had suggested administering an unprescribed sleeping pill to a patient. The drug, zopiclone, is potentially life-threatening if given to unwell patients, the court heard.


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