A health worker who held a job a the Wynyard hospital has been sentenced to serve time in the community for stealing narcotic patches from patients with dementia.

In November of last year, two nurses from the hospital started to notice that the patches containing the drug fentanyl, a narcotic painkiller, were disappearing. Both nurses filed complaints. 

Between Nov. 1 and Dec. 5 of 2012, Yulanda Wood took as many as 25 patches for personal use.

"RCMP launched an investigation and it was determined that Miss. Wood, who was a special care aid worker at the hospital at the time, had been taking these fentanyl patches right off of the patients," said Christy Pannell, the crown prosecutor in the case.

"They had dementia so certainly they were extremely vulnerable individuals," she continued.

Wood is no longer employed at the hospital, and now lives in Alberta.

"Miss. Wood had gone through some personal difficulties in her life, and as it came out through her counsel yesterday she has sought treatment for her own addictions issues," said Pannell.

Wood was convicted of theft under $5,000, and sentenced to 12 months in the community.

She must also write letters of apology to the hospital, the victims, and their families.