Five health workers have been charged with a series of criminal offenses in a major police investigation into allegations of mistreatment of stroke patients in hospital.
The charges were announced more than three years after police were contacted by the Blackpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation in November 2018 over concerns raised about the care of a number of patients.
Three nurses and two orderlies who worked at Blackpool Victoria Hospital have been charged with offenses including ill-treatment relating to the unlawful sedation of patients, as well as theft and supply of medicines.
Lancashire Police said the inquiry focused on “the care of often elderly and vulnerable people” over “a number of years”. The alleged offenses were committed in the stroke unit of the hospital.
Catherine Hudson, 52, of Coriander Close, Blackpool, has been charged with seven counts of willfully abusing or neglecting a social worker, eight offenses of conspiracy to rob an employer, one count of theft by an employee and a count of corrupting the course of justice.
Charlotte Wilmot, 47, of Bowland Crescent, Blackpool, has been charged with abetting/helping to commit an offense in the belief it will be committed, relating to a nurse’s encouragement to calm down a patient, a conspiracy count to abuse a patient, and four offenses of conspiracy to rob an employer.
Matthew Pover, 39, of Bearwood Road, Smethwick, West Midlands, has been charged with conspiracy to rob an employer, theft by an 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 conspiracy to rob an employer, and Marek Grabianowski, 45, of Montpelier Avenue, Bispham, was charged with three counts of conspiracy to rob an employer to steal an employer and a count. to pervert the course of justice.
The charges relate to the period between August 2014 and November 2018. The five defendants are due to appear at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court on May 31.
Detective Ch Insp Jill Johnston, leading the inquiry, said: ‘This is a complex investigation into allegations of unlawful sedation and ill-treatment of patients at the Blackpool Stroke Unit during several years.
“Patient and public safety remains our top priority and this inquest investigated the care provided to people who are often elderly and vulnerable. Everyone should be safe in hospital, receive the care they need, and be treated with dignity and respect.
“Our investigation is ongoing and we continue to support the many families affected. I encourage anyone with information to contact the investigation team confidentially and someone from the team will get back to you.
Police said the investigation was unrelated to the charging of a 51-year-old man in December 2021 with a number of sexual assaults at the hospital. A murder investigation into the death of Valerie Kneale in the stroke unit continues.