Woman re-arrested over baby deaths at Countess of Chester Hospital

A healthcare professional who was arrested over the death of babies at the Countess of Chester Hospital is back in custody.

Detective Inspector Paul Hughes, who is in charge of the investigation, said:  "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 at The Countess of Chester Hospital. 

"She was subsequently bailed pending further enquiries.

"As part of our ongoing investigation we have today (Monday 10 June) re-arrested the healthcare professional on suspicion of murder in relation to the deaths of 8 babies and the attempted murder of 6 babies.  

"She has also been arrested in connection with the attempted murder of three additional babies.

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

"Cheshire Constabulary launched its investigation two years ago. Since then, a dedicated team of detectives have been working on this highly complex and very sensitive case.

"I would like to reassure people that we are doing everything we can as quickly as we can to identify what has led to these baby deaths and collapses.

"Due to the nature of this investigation it is extremely challenging but it is important to remember that it is very much active and ongoing – there are no set timescales and we remain committed to carrying out a thorough investigation as soon as possible.

"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.

"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.

"At this stage, we are unable to go into any further details about the investigation but as soon as we can provide any further updates we will do.

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

"Information can also be passed on via the Major Incident Public Portal https://mipp.police.uk/operation/9901020317C89-PO1 or anonymously, via Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111."

Chief Executive at the Countess of Chester, Susan Gilby said: “Our thoughts are with the bereaved families, we are cooperating fully with the ongoing police investigation and so are unable to comment further at this time."

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