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Police investigate 'tampered' saline bags at hospital trust

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Police are investigating whether saline bags at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust have been tampered with.

The trust said in a statement issued today that it had alerted police after a member of staff discovered “a small number of saline bags” at Cumberland Infirmary on 4 January, which appeared to have been tampered with.

“There is no indication that any patients have been adversely affected”

Rod Harpin

Senior clinicians were alerted immediately and the trust said it followed its serious incident procedures. It did not specify how the saline bags may have been tampered with but in a statement said it did not believe any patients had been adversely affected.

Security measures at the trust have been increased and the trust is reviewing the medicines in use across the trust.

Rod Harpin, medical director at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “I can confirm that the trust contacted the police on 4 January regarding a small number of saline bags at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle which appear to have been tampered with.

“We immediately implemented our serious incident procedures and there is no indication that any patients have been adversely affected but we continue to monitor this closely,” he said. ”Patient safety is our absolute priority and we will continue to work closely with the police.”

In 2015, a nurse was convicted of murdering two patients and poisoning 20 others at Stepping Hill Hospital in Greater Manchester. Victorino Chua was found guilty of killing Tracey Arden, 44, and Derek Weaver, 83, at the Stockport hospital by injecting insulin into saline bags and ampoules.

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