Posted: Tue 10th Nov 2020

Countess of Chester Hospital – Healthcare professional re-arrested on suspicion of murder and attempted murder of babies

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Nov 10th, 2020

A healthcare professional has been re-arrested on suspicion of murder in relation to the deaths of eight babies and the attempted murder of six babies at the neonatal unit at The Countess of Chester Hospital.

Cheshire Police launched an investigation into a number of baby deaths and non-fatal collapses at the neonatal unit at The Countess of Chester Hospital more than three years ago.

The force has had a dedicated team of detectives working on the “highly complex and very sensitive” case to identify what led to the baby deaths and collapses.

In July 2018, a healthcare professional was arrested on suspicion of murder in relation to the deaths of 8 babies and the attempted murder of 6 babies at the neonatal unit, she was subsequently bailed pending further enquiries.

In June 2019, the healthcare professional was re-arrested on suspicion of murder in relation to the deaths of 8 babies and the attempted murder of 6 babies.

She was also arrested in connection with the attempted murder of 3 additional babies.

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Hughes, who is in charge of the investigation, said:

“Today (Tuesday 10 November), as part of our ongoing enquiries, the healthcare professional has been re-arrested on suspicion of murder in relation to the deaths of 8 babies and the attempted murder of 9 babies.

“The woman is currently in custody helping officers with their enquiries.

“Parents of all the babies have been kept fully updated on this latest development and they are continuing to be supported throughout the process by specially trained officers.

“This is an extremely difficult time for all the families and it is important to remember that, at the heart of this, there are a number of bereaved families seeking answers as to what happened to their children.

“Due to the nature of this investigation it is extremely challenging but it is important to remember that, despite the passage of time, it is very much active and ongoing.  There are no set timescales and we remain committed to carrying out a thorough investigation.

“We fully appreciate that it continues to have a big impact on all those involved – including the families of the babies, staff and patients at the hospital as well as members of the public.

“For that reason, I would urge people to avoid any commentary or speculation online or otherwise regarding the investigation itself or the identity of anyone involved as this is unhelpful and it could cause distress to the parents of the babies.  It could also impact on the ongoing criminal case moving forward.

“At this stage, I am unable to go into any further details about the investigation but as soon as I can provide any further updates I will do.”

If you have any information that you want to pass onto the investigation team you are encouraged to get in touch via the Operation Hummingbird mailbox at operation.hummingbird@cheshire.pnn.police.uk

Information can also be passed on by calling Cheshire Constabulary on 101 or anonymously, via Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.”

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