Steve May 6, 2022

Image source, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Image caption,

The investigation relates to patients on the stroke unit at Blackpool Victoria Hospital

Five healthcare staff have been charged with criminal offences as part of a major investigation into the ill-treatment of hospital patients.

Concerns had been raised over the welfare of some patients on the stroke unit at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Three nurses and two healthcare assistants will appear at court for offences including unlawful sedation of patients and theft, police said.

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

The investigation is not related to a separate murder investigation into the death of a patient, or an investigation into alleged sexual assaults at the hospital, police said.

Those charged are Catherine Hudson, 52, of Coriander Close, Blackpool; Charlotte Wilmot, 47, of Bowland Crescent, Blackpool; Matthew Pover, 39, of Bearwood Road in Smethwick; Victoria Holehouse, 31, of Riverside Drive, Hambleton, and Marek Grabianowski, 45, of Montpelier Avenue, Bispham.

They face charges including ill-treatment or wilful neglect, encouraging a nurse to sedate a patient, theft, supplying drugs and perverting the course of justice.

‘Elderly and vulnerable’

They are all due to appear at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court on 31 May.

Det Ch Insp Jill Johnston said the charges relate to “the care provided to often elderly and vulnerable people” and had been happening “over a number of years”.

She added: “This is a complex investigation. The safety of patients and the public remains our absolute priority.

“Our investigation remains ongoing and we continue to provide support to the many families affected.”

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