Prisoner who died from overdose 'stockpiled' medication in cell

Staff failed to check Robert Allen's cell for untaken antipsychotic medication before his death in 2019.

HMP Shotts prisoner who died from overdose ‘stockpiled’ antipsychotic medication in cell STV News

A prisoner who died from an overdose was found to have “stockpiled” antipsychotic drugs in his cell.

Staff at HMP Shotts failed to notice Robert Allen had not been taking medication prescribed to him by prison doctors after a series of violent incidents.

Allen, 32, was in the segregation and reintegration unit at the jail at the time of his death having attacked a fellow inmate with a plank of wood.

The prisoner, who was also receiving a daily dose of methadone, had previously required an emergency response due to substance intoxication.

However, searches of his cell were not carried out with an NHS worker present despite prison nurses’ belief that he was not taking the medication frequently enough.

A fatal accident inquiry (FAI) determined there was no evidence Allen was stockpiling before his death, but that some cell searches had not been recorded.

It also heard that he had confessed to not taking the prescribed medication to medical staff on more than one occasion.

Sheriff Thomson recommended NHS Lanarkshire should review their policy to ensure medication spot checks when prisoners are known to be averse to taking medication.

However he also heard such measures may have been “counterproductive” in convincing Allen to take the medication due to his “anti-social” personality.

His death on May 20, 2019 was ruled as methadone and quetiapine intoxication.

Sheriff Thomson concluded that there were no precautions which could reasonably have been taken to ensure Allen’s death was avoided.

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