A healthcare worker has been arrested on suspicion of murdering eight babies and the attempted murder of further six at a neonatal unit at the Countess of Chester Hospital in the United Kingdom.
The Independent reports Police launched the probe in 2017 following a “greater number of baby deaths and collapses than normally expected” between June 2015 and June 2016.
The investigation originally centred on the deaths of 15 babies and six non-fatal collapses but its scope has now widened to cover the deaths of 17 babies and 15 non-fatal collapses between March 2015 and July 2016.
The woman arrested by Police has not been named.
Detective Inspector Paul Hughes, who is in charge of the investigation, told The Sun “As a result of our ongoing enquiries we have today arrested a healthcare professional in connection with the investigation.
“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.
“Parents of all the babies are continuing to be kept fully updated and are being 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”.
The hospital said they will continue to support Police in their investigation, with medical director Ian Harvey adding “asking the police to look into this was not something we did lightly, but we need to do everything we can to understand what has happened here and get the answers we and the families so desperately want.”
Police said the parents of the babies were being kept fully updated by specially trained officers as the investigation proceeds.