Unison calls for new guidelines after drugs raid on psychiatric unit

Unison Scotland has called on the Scottish executive to produce
national guidelines for staff following a police drugs raid on a
psychiatric unit in Inverclyde.

Over £1,400 of illegal drugs including ecstasy and heroin
were seized in the raid on Inverclyde Royal Hospital, Greenock, on
Saturday. Speaking at a meeting of health officers in Glasgow
today, Jim Devine, Unison’s Scottish organiser for health,
said: “This is a further example of why the Scottish executive
needs to enter into discussions with the trade unions to produce
guidelines for staff confronted with this problem.”

Devine pointed out that the nurses professional code of conduct
is clear that patient confidentiality is paramount. But senior
police officers in Strathclyde have warned Unison that professional
confidentiality is no defence when faced with patients who are
abusing drugs.

Devine said: “This contradictory advice is placing nurses in a
no win situation.” Unison is to write to first minister, Henry
McLeish, proposing a working party be established urgently
including representatives of the police, trade unions and the
Scottish executive to issue agreed guidelines to the Scottish
health service.

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