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Former patient makes drugs claim

PUBLISHED: 14:45 20 September 2002 | UPDATED: 12:40 03 March 2010

DRUG abuse is prevalent on the wards at a Suffolk hospital for patients with mental health problems.

Patients at St Clements Hospital in Ipswich can access anything from cannabis resin to the most powerful class A drugs, with 'deals' taking place in the hospital grounds, according to a former patient.

DRUG abuse is rife on the wards of a Suffolk hospital, according to a former patient.

He said patients at St Clement's Hospital in Ipswich can get anything from cannabis to class A drugs.

He said he would take drugs "almost daily" during stays at the hospital.

A health chief admitted there was evidence of drug-taking at the hospital – but stressed the authorities were working with police to clamp down on the problem.

The former patient said: "People manage to get drugs even though they've been sectioned. You name it, you can get it."

The revelation comes after another patient, Wayne Stoneburgh, 18, was detained by Ipswich Crown Court under the Mental Health Act after admitting dealing drugs inside St Clement's.

Stoneburgh, who suffers from schizophrenia, had ecstasy tablets and cannabis resin hidden in his socks.

Alan Staff, of the NHS trust, said illegal drugs were seldom found at St Clement's but there was "anecdotal" evidence to suggest they were being taken. Mr Staff said: "We make it clear the hospital is not a safe haven for people attempting to push drugs.

"Anyone committing an offence will be reported to the police."

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