An epidemic of a laboratory-created hashish substitute in UK prisons is placing nurses known as in to deal with inmates in danger, union leaders say.
The Royal Faculty of Nursing stated it had members who had been left unwell after treating prisoners who had taken the unlawful drug, often known as “spice”.
One misplaced consciousness after inhaling the fumes and needed to be taken to an accident and emergency unit.
And in some locations 50 inmates had been being handled every week, the RCN stated.
It comes after a report final 12 months by HM Inspectorate of Prisons raised concern over the widespread use of the drug.
It stated inmates had been typically not diluting it with tobacco, resulting in critical medical emergencies.
Nurses and healthcare assistants are sometimes the primary on the scene when inmates want emergency care.
They’re anticipated to enter cells earlier than the smoke is obvious.
However the union says NHS workers needs to be allowed to evaluate the hazard of the scenario earlier than speeding in and known as on the jail service to do extra to fight the issue.
‘We have given care to 50 individuals in a single week’
One nurse, talking on situation of anonymity, stated: “Just lately we have needed to give medical care to over 50 individuals in a single week.
“Strolling again after attending to a affected person, I’ve sat in my automobile within the automobile park for 50 minutes after work so I really feel assured sufficient to drive.”
RCN common secretary Janet Davies stated: “Spice poses a critical risk to nurses, healthcare assistants and jail workers, whose security and long-term well being is being put in danger day in, time out.
“As devoted well being professionals, jail nursing workers are anticipated to supply prime quality care, however they shouldn’t be anticipated to place their very own wellbeing on the road to ship it.
“I’ve heard some actually stunning tales of nursing workers passing out or being unable to drive after publicity to spice.”
A Jail Service spokesman stated: “One of the best ways to maintain workers and inmates protected is to maintain medicine out of our prisons.
“That’s the reason now we have skilled greater than 300 specialist drug canine, launched physique scanners and intelligence-led searches and made it a felony workplace to own psychoactive substances in jail.”