4 more staff are quizzed in hospital poison probe
FOUR hospital workers were arrested yesterday over the alleged poisoning of patients on an NHS stroke unit.
Police questioned three nurses and a healthcare assistant about claims of neglect and mistreatment at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
Seven medical staff have now been caught up in the investigation. Detectives are treating the death of 75-year-old Valerie Kneale on the unit as murder, although this is a separate inquiry with no arrests so far.
The criminal investigation was launched last November following claims by a whistleblower that medicines had been tampered with.
Police are understood to be focusing on the use of drips and cannulas, in particular the administering of sleeping tablets. They are thought to be looking into the suggestion that patients on the stroke unit were given the sleeping pill Zopiclone to keep them sedated.
A number of post-mortem examinations have taken place to try to see whether any patients died as a result.
A Lancashire Police spokesman said: ‘It remains a complex and sensitive inquiry.’