Norfolk hospital worker arrested over death of patient following overdose claims

Police have confirmed a man has been arrested in connection with the death of patient James May

A hospital worker has been arrested on suspicion of murder by detectives investigating the death of a patient, police said.

James May, 76, from Great Yarmouth, died at the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston, Norfolk, on 20 September.

Police confirmed a member of the hospital's staff had been arrested today by officers and is being detained in police custody.

The investigation is being led by a joint Norfolk and Suffolk major investigation team.

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Durham, senior investigating officer, said: “We are investigating an allegation that a drugs overdose was administered to a patient, leading to his death.

“A Home Office post-mortem, carried out earlier this week, determined the cause of Mr May's death as heart failure and we now await the results of further toxicology tests which will help inform our inquiry.

“We understand that this news may generate concern and it's important for us to underline that our investigation, which is still at an early stage, is based on a single report of an isolated incident and that the hospital trust is co-operating fully with the investigation.”

The James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said in a statement: “The James Paget University Hospital, Gorleston, has called in the police following the suspicious death of a 76-year-old man.

“This follows an allegation of medical malpractice made by a member of staff after the patient's death on Friday September 20. This matter was investigated internally and subsequently referred to the police.

“The police joint major investigation team has launched an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death.”

Christine Allen, chief executive of the James Paget University Hospitals trust, said: “Our thoughts are with the family of this patient at what is a very difficult time.

“Our priority is patient safety and we understand that this news will cause concern.

“At this time, we believe it is an isolated incident and relates to the alleged action of a single member of staff.

“The member of staff against whom the allegation has been made is absent from the trust and will not return until the investigation is completed.

“Throughout this difficult period, the James Paget University Hospital will continue to provide the best possible care to our patients and we are fully co-operating with the police.”

Additional reporting by Press Association

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