Police have arrested a female healthcare worker on suspicion of murdering 8 babies.
And attempting to number six more babies.
Police made the arrests as part of an ongoing investigation of the neonatal unit at the Countess of Chester Hospital, which got under way after several babies died at the hospital.
Detectives had been looking into the deaths of 15 infants between June 2015 and June 2016 which was launched in may 2017.
Police could be seen at an address onWestbourne Road, Chester as part of an arrest and ongoing forensic examination.
Detective inspector Paul Hughes, leading the operation, said: “The investigation into the neonatal unit at the Countess of Chester Hospital is continuing. Since it was first launched in May 2017, a dedicated team of detectives have been working tirelessly on this case.
“This is a highly complex and very sensitive investigation and, as you can appreciate, we need to ensure we do everything we possibly can to try to establish in detail what has led to these baby deaths and collapses.
“When the investigation was first launched it was focusing on the deaths of 15 babies that occurred between the period of June 2015 and June 2016.
“In addition the investigation was also conducting a review of six non-fatal collapses during the same period.”
“As a result of our ongoing enquiries we have today arrested a healthcare professional in connection with the investigation,” said detective inspector Hughes.
“She was arrested earlier this morning on suspicion of murder in relation to eight of the babies and attempted murder in relation to six of the babies and is currently in custody.
“Whilst this is a significant step forward in our inquiries it is important to remember that the investigation is very much active and ongoing at this stage.
“There are no set timescales for this coming to a conclusion but we remain committed to carrying out a thorough investigation as soon as possible.”
It is believed the hospital had been carrying out several independent expert medical reviews into the deaths before they passed their concerns in to the police.
The hospital released a statement saying “Asking the police to look into this was not something we did lightly, but we need to do everything we can to understand what has happened here and get the answers we and the families so desperately want”
Police are urging anyone with information to contact [email protected]