LONDON — A British nurse has been arrested for the third time in relation to the deaths of more than a dozen babies at a hospital, police said Tuesday.
Police said the woman was re-arrested on suspicion of murder in relation to the deaths of eight babies, and the attempted murder of nine others, at the neonatal unit of the Countess of Chester Hospital, south of Liverpool in northwestern England.
Police first launched an investigation into the deaths of a number of babies at the hospital in May 2017. Detectives initially looked into the deaths of 15 babies between 2015 and 2016, and the probe later widened to the deaths of 17 babies and 16 "non-fatal collapses" in the same period.
The nurse was previously arrested in 2018 and 2019. She was bailed pending further enquiries both times and had not been charged. She was questioned in police custody Tuesday.
Detective Chief Inspector Paul Hughes said a team of detectives has been working on the "highly complex and very sensitive case" and said he could not provide further details.
"Parents of all the babies have been kept fully updated on this latest development," he said in a statement.
Lawyers representing some of the families said they welcomed any update to the investigation, but added that their clients have been waiting over three years for answers.
"While we respect the police investigation and their diligence we would very much like our clients to get justice in this case," said Emma Doughty, clinical negligence specialist at the law firm Slater and Gordon. "Not only have they lost their babies, but they have then had to deal with numerous investigations, and then subsequent arrests, all the while not knowing what really happened to their babies."