Emersons Green hospital worker swapped drugs with water

David Bamford worked at Emersons Green NHS Treatment Centre in South Gloucestershire Image copyright PA/Google
Image caption David Bamford, whose job involved assisting the anaesthetist during operations, was found guilty of theft by a jury at Bristol Crown Court

A hospital worker has been jailed for stealing prescription drugs from vials and replacing them with water and less potent painkillers.

David Bamford was found guilty of stealing fentanyl and diamorphine from Emersons Green NHS Treatment Centre in south Gloucestershire where he worked.

The 47-year-old, of Quakers Road, Downend, stole the drugs to treat his bad back, Bristol Crown Court heard.

Bamford, a lead operating department practitioner, was jailed for two years.

In June 2015 an investigation was launched after a quantity of ampoules were found to have been tampered with at the centre, near Bristol which is run by Care UK.

The ampoules had been broken, emptied and refilled with substances, including less potent painkillers and what is believed to have been water.

Det Con John Shanahan, from Avon and Somerset Police, said tests on Mr Bamford "showed he had both of these drugs in his system".

'Potential public risk'

"He was frequently accessing areas where these controlled drugs were kept outside of normal working hours," he said.

"He was involved in an unfeasibly large proportion of the breakages which were recorded and he appeared to involve himself unnecessarily in clearing up after operations."

He said Mr Bamford had ordered diamorphine from the pharmacy which had not been "put into the centre's stock" and advised a colleague not to report finding broken ampoules.

He added: "Bamford's actions had the potential to put the public at risk but thankfully it's not believed anyone was harmed as a result of medication being tampered with."

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