Nurse is charged with killing elderly patients

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The Independent Online

A nurse was charged yesterday with murdering three of her patients. Ann Grigg-Booth, 51, is accused of killing women aged 96, 75 and 67 at Airedale General Hospital, Keighley, West Yorkshire. Police are also investigating three more staff over the deaths of other patients at the hospital.

Mrs Grigg-Booth is accused of administering fatal levels of morphine to the women over two years. She is also accused of the attempted murder of another patient, a 42-year-old man, and 13 counts of giving patients noxious substances.

West Yorkshire Police have investigated eight suspicious deaths in the hospital and have passed details to the Crown Prosecution Service, which will decide whether her colleagues - two women, both 52, and a 56-year-old man - should be charged. They are on bail.

Mrs Grigg-Booth has been suspended on full pay since the allegations were made in 2002. The inquiry was launched after Airedale NHS Trust studied the records of the 96-year-old patient, who has not been named, and notified police. The nurse, who is believed to have moved from the Keighley area, was bailed to appear before Bingley magistrates on 12 October.

Airedale General Hospital has 600 beds and was opened in 1970 and serves a population of more than 200,000.

Robert Allen, chief executive of Airedale NHS Trust, said: "The police investigation began when Airedale NHS Trust reported an incident following a routine audit at the hospital."

He added: "This person [the nurse] has not worked at Airedale General Hospital since February 2003."