Male nurse held in poison probe at hospital after notes 'changed'

 

Detectives investigating a spate of deliberate poisonings at a hospital have arrested a male nurse after it was discovered that medical records had allegedly been tampered with.

The arrest follows the death of a fourth patient, Bill Dickson, 82, a former editor at the Manchester Evening News, on New Year's Eve. Mr Dickson was originally administered contaminated products last summer, when three people died and 16 other patients were also affected by the contamination of saline at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport, Greater Manchester.

The 46-year-old nurse, who has worked at the hospital during the seven month police investigation, was arrested at his home in Stockport yesterday on suspicion of unlawfully administering a noxious substance or poison. He has not been named.

Police were alerted on Tuesday by a member of staff who noticed that prescription charts had been allegedly changed overnight. It is believed a patient was given additional amounts of medication. They were monitored by staff and later discharged.

But officers stressed they had not established a link between the male nurse and the incidents in June and July. Another nurse, Rebecca Leighton, 27, was charged with criminal damage with intent to endanger life and theft in connection with the inquiry. She was later released without charge.

Yesterday Greater Manchester Police Assistant Chief Constable Terry Sweeney said he could not rule out further arrests being made in the coming days and weeks. He also sought to reassure patients and staff at the hospital about the investigation. Up to 60 detectives have been working on the case, and they have, so far, spoken to 650 people.

He said: "I know relatives of the confirmed victims affected and the public continue to seek answers and we are working as quickly as we can to provide them without jeopardising the quality or integrity of the investigation."

All four deaths took place on wards A1, A2 or A3, acute care wards caring for seriously ill patients. The altered records were found on ward A3.

Mr Dickson, who had also worked at the Daily Mail, was from Cheadle Hulme. The other dead victims included Tracey Arden, 44, a mother of two, who suffered from multiple sclerosis. She died on 7 July two hours after her parents left her bedside believing she was recovering.

Four days later retired photographer Arnold Lancaster, 71, also died. On the same day, Alfred Weaver, known as Derek, became critically ill after being admitted with breathing difficulties 24 hours earlier. He died on 21 July.

A number of other initially unexplained deaths at the hospital were investigated but later ruled out of the police inquiry.

Chris Burke, chief executive of Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, paid tribute to medics and said patient safety remained the top priority. The hospital has imposed extra security, stopping and searching vehicles coming in and out of the site, and staff are supervised when handling drugs.

"We are appalled by the malicious intent of this act, but thanks to the skill and experience of our staff it was spotted and reported immediately, and most importantly, we ensured no patient suffered any ill-effects," he said.

News
people

Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
books

New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

News
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
people

Former boxer recalls incident when he was seven years old

Sport
A Rutherford Raiders shirt with the PornHub sponsorship
football

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Arts and Entertainment
Charlie Sheen said he would
tv

Charlie Sheen could be set to revive his role as a hedonistic womaniser

Life and Style
Jamie Oliver’s version of Jollof rice led thousands of people to post angry comments on his website
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
glastonbury
News
Apple CEO Timothy Cook
people
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Vividly drawn: Timothy Spall in Mike Leigh’s ‘Mr Turner’
film

Review: Mike Leigh's biopic is a rambling, rich character study

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Senior Automation Tester – Permanent – West Sussex – Circa £40k

    £35000 - £40000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...

    KS2 Teacher Plymouth

    £20000 - £40000 per annum: Randstad Education Plymouth: Randstad Education Ltd...

    KS1 and KS2 Primary NQT Job in Lancaster Area

    £85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Randstad Education is urgently...

    KS1 Teacher Cornwall

    £20000 - £45000 per annum: Randstad Education Plymouth: Randstad Education Ltd...

    Day In a Page

    The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

    The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

    Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
    The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

    Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

    Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
    Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

    Fall of the Berlin Wall

    It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
    Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

    What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

    Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
    A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

    Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

    Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
    Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

    'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

    A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

    Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

    The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
    Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

    Paul Scholes column

    Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
    Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

    Frank Warren column

    Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
    Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

    Adrian Heath's American dream...

    Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
    Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

    Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

    Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
    Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

    A Syrian general speaks

    A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
    ‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

    ‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

    Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
    Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

    Fall of the Berlin Wall

    History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
    How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

    Turn your mobile phone into easy money

    There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes