Great Britain

NHS worker arrested on suspicion of murder, rape and sex assault

A healthcare professional has been arrested on suspicion of murder, rape and sexual assault as part of police investigations into a hospital.

The worker, who is being held on suspicion of murder, two offences of rape and one offence of sexual assault, has been suspended by Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, the force said.

A post-mortem on Valerie Kneale was one of a number carried out as part of an investigation into allegations of mistreatment and neglect on the hospital’s stroke unit.

A murder investigation was launched when it was found she died from a haemorrhage caused by a non-medical related internal injury.

A police spokesman said officers also received information on other claims of serious sexual assaults on two patients, as well as the sexual assault of one of the man’s colleagues who was working on the stroke unit.

Seven healthcare workers have previously been arrested as part of the poisoning probe.

Detective Chief Inspector Jill Johnston 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.”

She said police were offering support to those involved, who were being updated with information by trained officers.

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

She appealed for anyone with information or anyone who could help with their enquiries to speak to officers.

Additional reporting by PA

Football news:

Tottenham sacked Mourinho
Koeman will remain Barcelona coach. Laporta will support him after winning the Spanish Cup
The idea of a Super League is more than 20 years old. Let's briefly tell its story
Ferdinand on Super League: This is a war against football, a disgrace. A closed institution for big shots. This is just business
Is this what our dream changes look like?
Sanya about the Super League: I'll finish watching football. This is not the football I know
Juventus about the Super League: The clubs will receive 3.5 billion euros, but now we can not guarantee that the project will be implemented