A female healthcare worker at the Countess of Chester Hospital in Cheshire has been taken into custody on suspicion of murdering eight babies, as well as the attempted murder of a further six infants. According to Cheshire Police, the arrest came after a thorough investigation into the neo-natal unit at the hospital.

As reported by the Liverpool Echo, the investigation has been ongoing for some time and started after a high number of babies died at the hospital between 2015 and 2016. Now the investigation is widening and police say they still have a long way to go in establishing just how many babies have been affected and possibly murdered by the arrested healthcare worker.

Cheshire Police begin investigations into baby deaths

The Coventry Telegraph notes that the ongoing police investigation has been looking into activities at the Countess of Chester Hospital’s neo-natal unit. There could reportedly be more babies to add to the list of murdered patients. Currently, Cheshire Police are investigating the deaths of 17 babies at the hospital, as well as a further 15 non-fatal events during March 2015 to July 2016.

Police have not stated whether the arrested worker is a doctor, nurse or other professional healthcare workers.

Detective Inspector Paul Hughes who is leading the investigation has said the investigation is ongoing. He said the investigation first began in May 2017, with a team of detectives looking into the previous deaths.

Hughes did say that by its nature, the investigation is “highly complex” and also very sensitive, especially relating to the staff and parents involved.

He said they need to do anything they can to establish exactly what happened to the deaths and collapses of the babies.

Hughes went on to add that the investigation was initially focusing on the 15 babies that died between June 2015 and June 2016, but now is being widened to cover six, non-fatal collapses relating to babies over the same timeframe.

He added that they are consulting with several medical specialists at the hospital to ensure their investigation is as thorough as possible. Detectives have also interviewed a large number of related people and hospital staff to ensure they have as much information as possible.

The arrest of 'healthcare professional'

The police’s investigations so far have given them cause to arrest the female healthcare professional on the morning of 3 July 2018. So far her arrest relates to the murder of eight babies and the attempted murder of a further six.

Cheshire Police have dubbed the investigation “Operation Hummingbird” and said they have dedicated specialist officers supporting the parents involved. Detective Inspector Hughes can be heard giving his full press statement in the video included below.