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Nurse re-arrested over baby deaths at Chester hospital

A nurse has been re-arrested as part of an ongoing investigation into the deaths of 17 babies at a hospital in Cheshire.

Lucy Letby was first arrested in July last year on suspicion of murder in relation to the deaths of eight babies and the attempted murder of another six babies at the neonatal unit at Countess of Chester Hospital.

She was subsequently bailed but the police today confirmed that the healthcare professional - who they have not named but is understood to be Ms Letby - had been re-arrested for the previous charges and had also been arrested for the attempted murder of three additional babies.

The inquiry was launched by Cheshire Constabulary two years ago to look into the deaths of 17 babies and around 15 non-fatal collapses between March 2015 and July 2016.

Detective inspector Paul Hughes, who is in charge of the investigation, said: “I would like to reassure people that we are doing everything we can as quickly as we can to identify what has led to these baby deaths and collapses.

“Due to the nature of this investigation it is extremely challenging, but it is important to remember that it is very much active and ongoing – there are no set timescales and we remain committed to carrying out a thorough investigation as soon as possible,” he said.

“We fully appreciate that it continues to have a big impact on all those involved – including the families of the babies, staff and patients at the hospital as well as members of the public,” he added.

Mr Hughes said parents of the babies were being kept fully updated and were being supported throughout the process by specially trained officers.

“This is an extremely difficult time for all the families and it is important to remember that, at the heart of this, there are a number of bereaved families seeking answers as to what happened to their children,” he said.

Chief executive at the Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Susan Gilby, said: “Our thoughts are with the bereaved families, we are cooperating fully with the ongoing police investigation and so are unable to comment further at this time.”

Anyone with information that could help the police inquiry is asked to contact the Operation Hummingbird team on: operation.hummingbird@cheshire.pnn.police.uk