A BBC North West Tonight inquiry has discovered that a police investigation into the neglect of patients at Blackpool Victoria Hospital has been extended to examining eight further deaths. The BBC has found that Lancashire Police officers are currently investigating events on the hospital’s stroke ward which occurred in late 2018.
The coroner has been asked to review eight deaths at Blackpool Victoria Infirmary, which all happened in late 2018. Between November that year and April 2019 seven health care professionals were arrested on suspicion of neglect and mistreatment. They were later released under investigation pending further inquiries.
BBC North West Tonight researchers have now discovered that police have asked Blackpool Coroner’s office to review the deaths of eight patients who had been on the ward.
The coroner will decide whether there is a need for inquests into how they died.
The NHS trust which runs the hospital has told the BBC that it continues to fully support the inquiries. Pete Murphy, Executive Director Of Nursing And Quality, said, ‘Our thoughts remain with the families affected by these investigations. When all proceedings have concluded, and it is appropriate, we would like to meet with them and offer as much further support as they might need. I want to reassure the families of any patients admitted to Blackpool Victoria and in particular the stroke unit that significant improvements have been made.’
A separate and unrelated murder investigation into the death of another 75 year old patient, Ms Valerie Kneale, is ongoing. Ms Kneale died from a haemorrhage caused by a ‘non-medical related internal injury’. On 3rd March 2021, a healthcare professional was arrested on suspicion of murder, two offences of rape and one offence of sexual assault. He was bailed to 31 March, but has since been rebailed until 3 June. The man had already been suspended by Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust prior to his arrest.