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Four arrests in Blackpool Victoria Hospital incident.


Four healthcare professionals have been arrested on suspicion of administering a poison, or noxious substance, to patients at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

One man and three women have now been held amid allegations of mistreatment and neglect.

Police launched an investigation after concerns were raised about the care provided to some patients on the stroke unit.

Two women and a man previously arrested as part of the inquiry have been released under investigation.

The seven suspects, who are all healthcare professionals, have been suspended as part of safeguarding procedures while the police investigations continue.

The stroke unit is at the centre of a separate murder investigation following the death of 75-year-old Valerie Kneale there in November 2018.

A post-mortem examination after Ms Kneale's death found an injury that police said was believed to be suspicious.

Det Ch Insp Jill Johnston said while she understood that further arrests could be concerning she wanted to reassure the public that the force had a dedicated team of detectives working on the investigation.

Officers are working closely with Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and HM Coroner for Blackpool and Fylde as part of the investigation.

Chief executive of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Wendy Swift,  said: "the provision of services will continue as usual. The hospital remains a safe and caring environment for patients and the provision of services will continue as usual

"We take all allegations of this type extremely seriously and when the concerns were raised last year about the individuals they were immediately suspended."