News

Man arrested as part of investigations related to hospital

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

A man has today (Wednesday, March 3) been arrested by police as part of ongoing investigations related to Blackpool Victoria Hospital. 

In November 2018, police were made aware of allegations of mistreatment and neglect on the stroke unit.

As part of the investigation a number of post-mortem examinations were conducted. These included Valerie Kneale, 75, from Blackpool, who sadly died from a haemorrhage caused by a non medical related internal injury.

Following this a separate murder investigation was launched.

As a result of this inquiry, information related to other allegations of serious sexual assaults against two patients has been received, as well as the sexual assault of a healthcare professional working on the stroke unit.

Following enquiries, a healthcare professional has been arrested on suspicion of murder, two offences of rape and one offence of sexual assault. He is currently in custody.

He has been suspended by Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

The arrest is not linked to the ongoing investigation into allegations of poisoning and neglect.

Detectives recognise the arrest and the nature of the allegations will cause some alarm but want to reassure the public a major investigation is ongoing.

Det Ch Insp Jill Johnston, of Lancashire Police, said: “We have today arrested a man in connection with a number of serious offences.

“We understand this will cause some significant concern in the community but please be reassured we have a dedicated team of officers conducting a number of enquiries.

“These are complicated and sensitive allegations which we are committed to investigating thoroughly.

“We are offering support to those involved and they are being updated throughout the process by trained officers.

“Our priority and the priority of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is to ensure the safety of patients. We are working closely with the Trust as well as HM Coroner for Blackpool and Fylde as part of the investigation.

“If you have any information or have worked on the stroke unit and can assist with our enquiries, please come forward and speak to police immediately.”

Anyone with information in connection with the investigation can contact police on 101 quoting log 0942 of March 3 or report it via the major incident portal at https://mipp.police.uk/operation/0401020118W09-P02

Alternatively, you can contact independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.


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