Four More Deaths Ruled Out Of Stockport Hospital Probe

Detectives investigating the tampering of saline solution at Stepping Hill hospital have said that four additional deaths referred to them have been been ruled out of their inquiries.

They revealed that the cases were passed on to them by the coroner when it was announced that all charges in connection with the inquiry had been dropped against nurse Rebecca Leighton.

However, Greater Manchester Police said they are continuing to look at the suspicious deaths at Stepping Hill Hospital of Tracey Arden, 44, Arnold Lancaster, 71, and Alfred Derek Weaver, 83.

A spokesman for GMP said: ``We can confirm that the deaths of Arnold Lancaster, Tracey Arden and Alfred Derek Weaver have undergone this same process of review and we can confirm these people have been unlawfully administered insulin.

``However, we have yet to establish if this has been a significant contributing factor to each of their deaths. A number of toxicology and other tests to try and establish causes of death are continuing and may take some weeks to complete.''

Two other patients at the hospital - George Keep and Vera Pearson, both aged 84 - were also linked to the inquiry but their deaths were earlier ruled out as not suspicious.

Assistant Chief Constable Terry Sweeney said: ``The decision to rule out the deaths of these six people (including George Keep and Vera Pearson) 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.''