Nurse bailed in hospital deaths probe

 

A Filipino nurse arrested in connection with poisoning deaths at a hospital has had his bail extended, police said today.

Victorino Chua, 46, was initially held in January on suspicion of tampering with medical records at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport, Cheshire.

He was further arrested on suspicion of three counts of murder and 18 counts of causing grievous bodily harm. Chua has not been charged.

Chua was bailed until next Monday but had his bail extended today until January 31 next year, Greater Manchester Police said.

The Force is investigating the contamination of various products with insulin between June 1 and July 15 last year at the hospital.

Twenty-two people were subsequently poisoned by the contaminated products, seven of whom have since died. They are Tracey Arden, 44, Arnold Lancaster, 71, Derek Weaver, 83, William Dickson, known as Bill, 82, Linda McDonagh, 60, John Beeley, known as Jack, 73, and Beryl Hope, 70.

Staff at Stepping Hill Hospital first raised the alarm after noticing "unexplained" low blood sugar levels in patients.

Police later found a number of saline drips had been deliberately contaminated, between June 1 and July 15 last year.

Detectives are now reviewing and analysing each of the hundreds of interactions all those patients had with a member of staff or visitor during their time at Stepping Hill.

More than 650 statements have been taken and 800 members of staff have been spoken to.

The tampering affected patients on wards A1, A2 or A3 - acute care wards of seriously ill patients.

Another Stepping Hill nurse, Rebecca Leighton, 28, from Heaviley, Stockport, spent six weeks in jail after being held over allegations she had tampered with the saline bags.

She was then released and cleared of any wrongdoing last September when prosecutors said there was not enough evidence against her, but she was subsequently sacked for theft by bosses.

PA

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