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Hospital worker arrested for murder, rape and sex assaults is released on bail 

Hospital worker arrested for murder, rape and sex assaults following investigation into 75-year-old stroke patient’s death is released on bail

  • A Blackpool Victoria Hospital worker was arrested by police earlier this week 
  • Male worker has been arrested on suspicion of murder, rape and sexual assault Comes as post-mortem revealed Valerie Kneale, 75, died from a haemorrhage caused by non-medical internal injury and a murder investigation was launched

A hospital worker who was arrested on suspicion of murder, rape and sexual assault as part of investigations related to Blackpool Victoria Hospital has been bailed. 

Police were made aware of allegations of mistreatment and neglect on the stroke unit in November 2018. 

As part of the investigation several post-mortems were conducted, including that of stroke patient Valerie Kneale, 75, from Blackpool, who died from a haemorrhage caused by a non-medical related internal injury.

Following this a separate murder investigation was launched by Lancashire Police.

Stroke patient Valerie Kneale, 75, (pictured), died from a haemorrhage caused by a non-medical related internal injury

The worker - who has not been named - was arrested on suspicion of murder, rape and sexual assault and has now been bailed. Picture: File image

The worker – who has not been named – was arrested on suspicion of murder, rape and sexual assault and has now been bailed. Picture: File image

During the inquiry, information relating to other allegations of serious sexual assaults against two patients were received as well as the sexual assault of a health care professional working on the stroke unit.   

Following enquiries, a healthcare professional was arrested earlier this week on suspicion of murder, two offences of rape and one offence of sexual assault.

He has now been bailed to March 31.

The worker has also been suspended by Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, the force confirmed.

The arrest is not linked to the ongoing investigation into allegations of poisoning and neglect, according to the police.

Det Ch Insp Jill Johnston, of Lancashire Police, said: ‘A man has been arrested and bailed in connection with a number of serious offences.

The worker faced accusations of serious sexual assaults against at least two patients and one healthcare professional working in the stroke unit. Pictured: Blackpool Victoria Hospital

The worker faced accusations of serious sexual assaults against at least two patients and one healthcare professional working in the stroke unit. Pictured: Blackpool Victoria Hospital

‘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.

‘We are offering support to those involved and they are being updated throughout the process by trained officers.

‘Our priority and the priority of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is to ensure the safety of patients.

Lancashire Police confirmed the worker has also been suspended by Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. Pictured: Blackpool Victoria Hospital

Lancashire Police confirmed the worker has also been suspended by Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. Pictured: Blackpool Victoria Hospital

‘We are working closely with the Trust as well as HM Coroner for Blackpool and Fylde as part of the investigation.

‘If you have any information or have worked on the stroke unit and can assist with our enquiries, please come forward and speak to police immediately.’

Anyone with information can contact police on 101 quoting log 0942 of March 3 or report it via the major incident portal.

Alternatively, you can contact independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.

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