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Nurses at risk of Spice fumes while working in prisons

NURSES have been taken to A&E and left unable to drive after being exposed to Spice fumes in British prisons, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) reported today.

The nursing union called for action after it said that, under current guidance, nurses and healthcare assistants are expected to enter cells before the smoke of the synthetic cannabis has cleared.

One RCN member reported treating more than 50 cases in a week. The union said that the use of psychoactive substances has become “widespread” in British prisons.

The RCN has written to HM Prison and Probation Service chief Michael Spurr to demand that health workers be protected from the drug.

The RCN said that Tees, Esk & Wear Valley NHS Trust withdrew nursing staff from a wing of Holme House prison in Co Durham due to the risk posed by Spice.

RCN general secretary Janet Davies said: “We would like to see an urgent review of the guidance that properly reflects the risks posed by this extremely dangerous drug.”

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