A healthcare worker at the Countess of Chester hospital in Cheshire was arrested Tuesday, on the suspicion of murdering eight babies and attempting to kill six others.
Cheshire police stated that the woman was in custody following an investigation into the deaths of 17 babies, and 15 “non-fatal collapses” between March 2015 and July 2016, the hospital’s neonatal unit.
Leading the investigation, DI Paul Hughes said: “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.
“There are no set timescales for this coming to a conclusion but we remain committed to carrying out a thorough investigation as soon as possible.”
Ian Harvey, medical director of the Countess of Chester, said the hospital was supporting the police with the investigation, but claimed the department is a “level one special care baby unit” which is “safe to continue in its current form.”
“Asking the police to look into this was not something we did lightly, but we need to do everything we can to understand what has happened here and get the answers we and the families so desperately want,” he said.
The families affected are being fully updated, Hughes said, and assisted by specially trained officers.
He added: “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.”
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