Stockport, Manchester: Five Patients Now Murdered In Hospital Sabotage Case

21 Jul

Video: Hospital Sabotage, 4th Victim Dies 

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Video: Hospital Sabotage, 4th Victim Dies 

Two more people have now died in incidents linked to contaminated saline at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport – bringing the total number of dead patients up to five.

It comes after 27-year-old nurse Rebecca Leighton was arrested on suspicion of murdering patients .

She was detained on Wednesday after officers arrived at her home in Heaviley, Stockport, Greater Manchester.

An investigation was launched at Stepping Hill after insulin was found in a batch of 36 saline ampoules in a storeroom close to ward A1 of the hospital.

Detectives believe the insulin was deliberately injected into the saline, which was used in drips by at least two wards.

George Keep, 84, Arnold Lancaster, 71, and 44-year-old mother-of-two Tracey Arden are believed to be victims of the tampered medicine.

Ian Hopkins, Assistant Chief Constable with Greater Manchester Police , confirmed two more people linked to the incident had recently died.

“Very sadly, an 83-year-old man has died this morning… This gentleman has always been part of the ongoing investigation.

“The second person is an 84-year-old lady who died on the 14th of July.

“Because of the measures the coroner has put in place, a post mortem examination took place on the 19th of July.

“As a result of (this)… [the coroner] has referred that case to us.”

Mr Hopkins added the cause of all five deaths had not yet been confirmed.

“In relation to the death of the woman, this was referred to us by the coroner and after a review of the circumstances surrounding this death – notably the low blood sugar level – we have decided to investigate further.

“In relation to the man’s death, due to the fact he suffered a hypoglycaemic episode during a timeframe we are looking at it is only right we conduct further inquiries.”

He went on: “I want to make it abundantly clear that we are working closely with the coroner and, as is to be expected, it is likely we will be asked to investigate further deaths.”

The officer also clarified earlier reports suggesting a man in his 40s had died, saying he was still alive but “very poorly”.

Leighton, who describes herself on Facebook as a “happy go lucky kinda gal”, was still being questioned by police.

Detectives have until this evening to continue questioning her before they must decide whether to charge her, release her or apply for more time to keep her in custody.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) confirmed Leighton’s registration would be suspended while she remained under investigation.

Staff at several hospitals in the North of England are being urged to stay alert and be extra vigilant.

A memo by NHS North West ‘s chief nurse Jane Cummings has been sent to medical directors at hospitals across the region.

“We have reminded all staff who deal with our medicines management policy to ensure that drugs and infusions are stored securely and checked before being administered to patients,” she said.

“Naturally, all staff are being extra vigilant at this time.

“All staff have been reminded to continue to follow our procedure of reporting any unusual events or patterns immediately to a senior member of staff.”

Detectives were called to Stepping Hill Hospital after an experienced nurse reported a higher than normal number of patients with “unexplained” low blood sugar levels.

That discovery led authorities to the 36 contaminated saline vials.

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