Nurses at one of Scotland’s most secure psychiatric hospitals say they are subjected to regular sexual assaults.

It has also been claimed a patient openly admitted to staff that he wanted to abduct, rape and kill one of their colleagues.

Whistleblowers said staff at the Rowanbank Clinic – situated within the grounds of Stobhill Hospital in Glasgow’s Springburn – have reached “crisis” point as stressed workers struggle to cope.

One said: “There is a male in the admission ward who is sexually assaulting female staff at least once a week.

Staff at the hospital are terrified by the patient's behaviour
Staff at the hospital are terrified by the patient's behaviour

“Another tries to put his hand between females’ legs and openly touches himself in front of staff.

“Staff morale is through the floor. Too many people are wanting to go off sick due to the stress.”

The source claimed a dangerous patient, who was accused of murder, wanted to sexually abuse and murder one of his carers.

They said: “He approached staff and said he wanted to rape and murder a female nurse. He has done this on a number of occasions.

“He was also known for doing this in his previous hospital. Understandably, nursing staff are concerned.

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Another whistleblower said the clinic, which is classed as “medium secure”, is being “mismanaged to the point it is unsafe”.

They said: “In the last few months it has had multiple nurses leave, well into double figures, because of conditions we’re working in and the lack of support from senior management of the clinic.

“Specifically the national female services have numerous assaults on staff per week and the male admission unit. There’s a high sickness level among its staff due to burnout.

“At times we don’t have enough staff to respond to incidents. They are left to deal with violent and aggressive offenders with less than the minimum numbers of nurses.”

The whistleblowers said they have tried to have their concerns addressed but feel intimidated and worried about their jobs.

One said: “We feel forgotten about by managers. The treatment of staff in particular is barbaric.”

Rowanbank patients include Owen Bonner, who held two women hostage and was transferred back to the clinic from the state hospital.

Another patient, James Dunleavyn, killed his mum Philomena at his Edinburgh home in 2013 before cutting up her body and burying her in a shallow grave.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: “Given the seriousness of a number of the allegations made, which have not been reported via the standard whistleblowing route, we have completed an immediate investigation.

“On sexual assaults we are unable to comment on individual patients or cases.

“However, any instances of violence and aggression against staff of any nature are reported as an incident and are appropriately investigated.”

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