UK health worker held over murder of 8 babies

Female healthcare professional is arrested by police in Cheshire, northwestern England
LONDON: A female healthcare worker has been arrested for the murder of eight babies in a U.K. hospital, British police said Tuesday.
A statement from Cheshire Police in northwestern England said the detained woman was also suspected of attempting to kill another six babies at the Countess of Chester Hospital.
The statement said an investigation continues into the deaths of 17 babies and 15 “non-fatal collapses” at the hospital’s neonatal unit between June 2015 and June 2016.
“Whilst this is a significant step forward in our enquiries, it is important to remember that the investigation is very much active and ongoing at this stage,” said Detective Inspector Paul Hughes, who is in charge of the investigation.
Hughes said the force “have consulted with a number of medical specialists to ensure that we carry out as thorough an investigation as possible.”
“As a result of our ongoing enquiries we have today (Tuesday 3 July) arrested a healthcare professional in connection with the investigation. She was arrested earlier this morning on suspicion of murder in relation to eight of the babies and attempted murder in relation to six of the babies and is currently in custody,” he added.
A recent report found that staffing at the hospital’s neonatal unit, which reported a “higher than usual” number of baby deaths, was inadequate.
Five babies died in the unit in 2013 and 2014.
In 2016, five further deaths followed eight deaths in 2015.
“This is an extremely difficult time for all the families and it is important to remember that, at the heart of this, there are a number of bereaved families seeking answers as to what happened to their children,” Hughes also said.
“At this stage we are unable to go into any further details about the investigation but as soon as we are able to provide any further updates we will do.”–AA

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