Sixth death in Stepping Hill insulin probe

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A SIXTH patient has died at Stockport’s Stepping Hill Hospital where detectives are probing the allegedly deliberate contamination of products.

The death of John Beeley, 73, last Friday, came less than a week after Linda McDonagh, 60, died.

Tracey Arden, Arnold Lancaster, Derek Weaver and William Dickson, who have also died, are among 21 people believed to have been unlawfully administered insulin at the hospital.

Detective Superintendent Simon Barraclough of Greater Manchester Police said it was believed insulin may have played more than a minimal part in the deaths of Ms Arden, Mr Lancaster and Mr Weaver.

He added: “While we are continuing to undertake stringent tests into the deaths of all six patients, we believe it is highly likely the later deaths should more properly be attributed to natural disease.”

Stockport NHS Foundation Trust said the criminal and malicious act of saline contamination did not reflect on the good care provided by their skilled and dedicated staff and the effective working practices in the hospital.

The spokesperson added: “Our staff have shown great professionalism in getting on with the day job and have continued to work immensely hard. They are determined that this criminal act does not overshadow this hospital’s long-standing record of good care.”

lEarlier this month, a 46-year-old male nurse was arrested in connection with the investigation, and has been bailed pending further enquiries.