In the Media

16 Stepping Hill patients poisoned by insulin in saline solution, police say

PUBLISHED October 17, 2011

Three patients died and 13 recovered from being unlawfully administered diabetes drug by unknown attacker Sixteen patients at Stepping Hill hospital in Stockport have been poisoned by saline solution contaminated with diabetes drug insulin, Greater Manchester police have said. Three patients died ? Tracey Arden, 44, Arnold Lancaster, 71, and Alfred Derek Weaver, 83 ? but the remaining 13 have recovered. All had been unlawfully administered insulin, police said. A further 16 patients have been eliminated from the inquiry and 10 cases are still under review. After the release of nurse Rebecca Leighton in September, when charges against her were dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service, detectives said they were looking at about 40 potential victims. This number has now been reduced to 26. A criminal profiler has been brought in by the force to help identify the poisoner. The forensic clinical psychologist, who has assisted various forces in murder inquiries, is assisting detectives in drawing up the likely background of the saboteur. Leighton, 27, from Heaviley, Stockport, after her release spoke of her horror at being portrayed as an "angel of death" and "killer nurse" by the media. She said she was passionate about her job and wanted to return to a normal life. The Nursing and Midwifery Council allowed her to return to work , subject to conditions, after hearing claims she had stolen opiate-based drugs from the hospital. The alarm was first raised by an experienced nurse at the hospital on 12 July when a higher than normal number of patients were reported to have unexplained low blood sugar levels. Heightened security measures at the hospital will continue for the foreseeable future. Crime Manchester NHS Health Helen Carter © 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds