• Trust contacted police last November after concerns about care provided to some patients were raised
  • Latest four arrests follow three earlier arrests

Four more healthcare professionals have been arrested in connection with allegations of mistreatment and neglect at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

In November last year, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust contacted the police after concerns were raised about the care provided to some patients on the stroke unit.

Two women and a man, all healthcare professionals, were arrested on suspicion of administering any poison or noxious thing with the intent to injure, and ill treatment or wilful neglect. They were released under investigation pending further enquiries.

Now, Lancashire Police has said four more healthcare professionals – one man and three women – have been arrested under suspicion of the same crime as the three other suspects. They were in custody when the statement was issued on Wednesday.

All seven people have been suspended from the trust.

In January, detectives confirmed a murder investigation was ongoing following the death of a woman in her 70s on the stroke unit in November. Police said this is being treated as a separate investigation.

Detective chief inspector Jill Johnston, of Lancashire Police said: “Our investigation into allegations of mistreatment and neglect of patients at Blackpool Victoria Hospital is very much ongoing.

“Given the number of arrests and the nature of the allegations, it remains a complex and sensitive inquiry.

“A number of post-mortem examinations have taken place in connection with our investigation and we are supporting those families who have had loved ones identified as potentially being involved. They are being kept fully updated and supported throughout the process by specially trained officers.”

Anyone with information can contact police on 101, quoting log reference 0553 of November 14.