A healthcare worker has been arrested on suspicion of murdering eight babies and attempting to kill a further six at the Countess of Chester hospital in Cheshire, UK. Cheshire police said the woman was arrested on Tuesday morning and had been taken into in custody. The force said it was investigating the deaths of 17 babies and 15 “non-fatal collapses” at the hospital’s neonatal unit between June 2015 and June 2016.
An investigation was launched in May 2017 into the potentially suspicious deaths of 15 babies and six non-fatal collapses. However, the force said on Tuesday that the inquiry had widened to include the deaths of 17 babies and 15 non-fatal collapses between March 2016 and July 2016. Parents of all the babies involved were being updated and supported by specialist officers, police said. Hughes added: “We recognise that this investigation has a huge impact on all of the families, staff, and patients at the hospital as well as members of the public. “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. “At this stage we are unable to go into any further details about the investigation but as soon as we are able to provide any further updates we will do.” Ian Harvey, the medical director of the Countess of Chester hospital, said the hospital was supporting the police with the investigation.