Four more Stepping Hill deaths ruled out of police investigation

POLICE investigating the suspicious deaths of patients at Stepping Hill Hospital have ruled out the deaths of six people.

Officers were investigating the deaths of patients at the hospital amid allegations that saline solutions had been deliberately tampered with.

Two people had previously been ruled out of the inquiry and a further four deaths have now been also been ruled out. Police said the families of those involved have been informed that these deaths are no longer part of the inquiry.

Greater Manchester Police said officers are continuing to work closely with medical experts to scrutinise post mortem results, medical histories and any medicines or drugs people may have received whilst at Stepping Hill.

They have also confirmed that the deaths of Arnold Frederick Lancaster, Tracey Arden and Alfred Derek Weaver have undergone the same process of review and confirmed that Mr Lancaster, Mr Weaver and Ms Arden have been unlawfully administered insulin.

However, it has not been established whether this was a significant contributing factor to their deaths and a number of toxicology and other tests to try and establish causes of death are continuing.

GMP Assistant Chief Constable Terry Sweeney said: “The decision to rule out the deaths of these six people will provide their families with some level of reassurance.

“They will now be able to continue grieving for their loved ones in the knowledge that they have not been taken from them in suspicious circumstances.

“I know relatives of the confirmed victims affected and the public in general will be anxious and want answers and we are working as quickly as we can without jeopardising the quality or integrity of the investigation.

“This is an exceptionally complex and difficult process and one that cannot be rushed or completed quickly.

“Should we identify any further deaths that will be investigated by us as part of this investigation we will of course make the relevant announcement once we have spoken to family members.”

GMP have a pool of around 700 people to interview and the process is ongoing, with more than 300 people being interviewed so far. This includes staff, patients and visitors. Officers say there are around 30 potential victims.

Anyone with information is asked to call the GMP incident room on 0161 856 2480. Anyone who has health-related concerns should call the NHS’s dedicated hotline on 0161 419 4888.