Police name two more victims of hospital poisoning

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The second and third victims of a suspected serial poisoner have been named, as police continue to investigate who deliberately tampered with medication at a hospital.

George Keep, 84, from Cheadle, Greater Manchester, died at Stepping Hill Hospital, Stockport, on 14 July, while Arnold Lancaster, 71, from Stockport, died three days earlier. Both were thought to have been admitted with serious illnesses and join 44-year-old multiple sclerosis (MS) sufferer Tracey Arden as suspected victims of someone who contaminated a batch of saline solution with insulin.

Mr Keep was enjoying his retirement in spite of failing health, his family said. A police statement read: "[George] was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. His family says he will be greatly missed, as he was a big part of their weekly routine."

Mr Lancaster's family were said to be too upset to comment. Grandmother and mother-of-two Ms Arden, from Stockport, was admitted from her care home for routine treatment for her long-term MS.

Her parents Keith and June visited her in the afternoon of 7 July but were later called to say she had "taken a turn for the worse". By the time they arrived their daughter was dead. Her funeral has been delayed while tests are carried out. Inquests on all three victims will be opened next week.

Police were called to the hospital last Tuesday after a senior nurse noticed several patients on her ward had lower than normal blood sugar levels. An internal check found insulin had been injected into a batch of 36 saline ampoules, normally used to hydrate patients.