Care Workers Allegedly Sold Drugs to & Had Relationships With Vulnerable Patients.
Reports are breaking across the media today or allegations against care workers in an Essex mental health trust.
The allegations include workers taking class A drugs into the care facilities for patients and having sexual relationships with patients. The Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) has said that is is carrying out an investigation into the matter and is working with the local police in order to enable this to happen. The trust also claims that it knew nothing of the allegations prior to the BBC investigation which uncovered them. However, the reporters who uncovered the allegations have been told that staff and management were made aware of the situation previously.
The staggering allegations come from relatives and patients. Some relatives have expressed concern and outrage that their loved ones could be exploited and let down by the very people who were supposed to be caring for them.
All healthcare professionals are aware of the privileged position they are placed in when they become the carer, and in some cases advocate, for some of the most vulnerable people in our society. To exploit this vulnerability is completely unacceptable and should be met with both criminal and professional sanctions.
The behavioural complexities presented by some patients, perhaps especially within the field of mental health, are often extremely difficult to deal with. However, appeasement of drug addictions through the supply of illegal class A drugs is not a care plan anyone should sign off on. It is unlikely that such a tactic had been agreed and more likely that the alleged drug supply came as a result of inappropriate close relationships with patients. Care workers are also well aware of the rules around this, not to mention the pitfalls.
From The Author
Writing this as a former nurse, I find it almost too difficult to imagine the pain and anxiety experienced by the relatives and patients involved in this story. It is bad enough that your loved one should be sent to a secure unit in order to assist in their recovery, but to discover that the very people you have placed your trust in to deliver the care needed have exploited them must be harrowing.
It is important to note that these are allegations at the moment and the investigation is ongoing. We will keep you posted as the story develops. You can also read the full story on the BBC website here.