Five healthcare professionals charged with criminal offences amid ill-treatment probe at hospital

Five healthcare professionals have been charged with criminal offences following allegations patients were unlawfully sedated at a hospital.

Lancashire Police said three nurses and two healthcare assistants who worked at Blackpool Victoria Hospital (pictured) had been charged with offences including ill-treatment, relating to the unlawful sedation of patients, as well as the theft and supply of medication.

A major police investigation was launched after concerns were raised to Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in November 2018.

On Friday, a force spokesman said Catherine Hudson, 52, of Coriander Close, Blackpool, was charged with seven counts of a care worker ill-treating/wilfully neglecting an individual, eight offences of conspiring to steal from an employer, one count of theft by employee and perverting the course of justice.

Charlotte Wilmot, 47, of Bowland Crescent, Blackpool, was charged with encouraging/assisting in the commission of an offence believing it will be committed, relating to encouraging a nurse to sedate a patient, conspiring to ill-treat a patient and four offences of conspiring to steal from an employer.

Matthew Pover, 39, of Bearwood Road, Smethwick, West Midlands, was charged with conspiring to steal from employer, theft by employee, supplying a Class C drug and offering to supply a Class C drug.

Victoria Holehouse, 31, of Riverside Drive, Hambleton, was charged with two counts of conspiring to steal from employer, and Marek Grabianowski, 45, of Montpelier Avenue, Bispham, was charged with three counts of conspiring to steal from an employer and one count of perverting the course of justice, police said.

The charges relate to the period between August 2014 and November 2018.

All five defendants are due to appear at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court on May 31.

Detective Chief Inspector Jill Johnston said: “This is a complex investigation into allegations of unlawful sedation and ill treatment of patients on the stroke unit at Blackpool over a number of years.

“The safety of patients and the public remains our absolute priority and this inquiry has investigated the care provided to often elderly and vulnerable people.

“Everyone should be safe in hospital, to receive the care they require and be treated with dignity and respect.

“Our investigation remains ongoing and we continue to provide support to the many families affected. I would encourage anyone with information to contact the investigation team in confidence and someone from the team will recontact you.”

Anyone with any information can contact the investigation team on, by calling 101, quoting log 0612 of May 4, or contacting Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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