Bail extended for nurse in hospital poisoning case

Stepping Hill Hospital Photo: Press Association

A Filipino nurse arrested in connection with poisoning deaths at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport has had his bail extended again.

Victorino Chua, 46, was held last year on suspicion of tampering with medical records at the hospital

He was further arrested on suspicion of three counts of murder and 19 counts of causing grievous bodily harm.

Chua was questioned then bailed until January this year and today had his bail extended until July 9, Greater Manchester Police said.

The force is carrying out a massive investigation into the contamination of various medical products with insulin between June 1 and July 15, 2011 at the hospital.

Twenty-two people were poisoned by the contaminated products, eight of whom have since died.

They are Tracey Arden, 44, Arnold Lancaster, 71, Derek Weaver, 83, William Dickson, 82, Linda McDonagh, 60, John Beeley, 73, Beryl Hope, 70, and Mary Cartwright, 89.

Staff at Stepping Hill Hospital raised the alarm after noticing "unexplained" low blood sugar levels in patients.

Police later found a number of saline drips had been deliberately contaminated.

Detectives are reviewing and analysing the hundreds of interactions those patients had with a member of staff or visitor during their time at Stepping Hill.

More than 650 statements have been taken and 800 members of staff spoken to.

The tampering affected patients on wards A1, A2 and A3 - acute care wards of seriously ill patients.

Another Stepping Hill nurse, Rebecca Leighton, 28, from Heaviley, Stockport, spent six weeks in jail after being held over allegations she tampered with the saline bags.

She was released and cleared of any wrongdoing last September when prosecutors said there was not enough evidence against her, but she was subsequently sacked for theft by hospital bosses.