Healthcare worker who was arrested on suspicion of murder and rape quizzed over sex offences at stroke unit

A HEALTHCARE worker who was arrested on suspicion of murder and rape has been quizzed over allegations of other possible sexual offences at a hospital stroke unit.

The suspect, who was not arrested, was previously held in March in connection with the death of 75-year-old Valerie Kneale at Blackpool Victoria Hospital on November 16 2018.


He was also questioned in relation to two allegations of rape and one of sexual assault before he was bailed.

Lancashire Police today said the man – who has been suspended by Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust – voluntarily attended an interview on Monday.

He was questioned in relation to further allegations including the rape of two patients and seven sexual assaults on healthcare professionals on the stroke unit.

A post-mortem examination on Mrs Kneale was one of a number carried out as part of an investigation launched in November 2018 into allegations of mistreatment and neglect on the unit.

Police launched a murder probe when it was revealed she died from a haemorrhage caused by a non-medical related internal injury.

A separate investigation into suspected poisoning of patients on the unit is ongoing.

Seven healthcare professionals have previously been arrested as part of the poisoning probe.

In a statement, Lancashire Police said: "Yesterday, the man was voluntarily interviewed in connection with further allegations, including the rape of two patients and seven sexual assaults on healthcare professionals on the stroke unit.

"He was not arrested.

"This inquiry is not linked to the ongoing investigation into allegations of poisoning and neglect."

The suspect remains on bail until September 3.

Anyone with information in connection with the investigation can contact police on 101 quoting log 0942 of March 3 or report it via the major incident portal at mipp.police.uk.

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