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Murder inquiry after woman dies at hospital stroke unit | UK News

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A murder investigation is under way into the death of a 75-year-old woman at a hospital stroke unit.

Valerie Kneale, who died at Blackpool Victoria Hospital on 16 November, had an “unexplained injury” thought to be suspicious.

Her cause of death has not been confirmed but police are now treating it as a murder inquiry, although no arrests have been made.

Police had previously detained two women and one man on suspicion of poisoning patients after hospital bosses told officers in November of allegations of mistreatment and neglect at the unit.

The hospital workers, who have all been suspended, were later released pending further inquiries as detectives ordered a number of post-mortem examinations.

On Wednesday, police said one of those examinations involved Blackpool pensioner Mrs Kneale.

Blackpool Victoria Hospital
Image:
The police investigation centres on Blackpool Victoria Hospital

Her relatives said: “We, as a family, are completely and utterly devastated and heartbroken to have lost Val in these circumstances.

“She was the most precious wife, mother and grandmother, our constant friend and problem solver who we will miss dearly.”

Detective Jill Johnston, of Lancashire Police, said: “A dedicated team of detectives are working on the investigation and we are still at the early stages of gathering evidence.

“We understand this is a concerning development but I would like to reassure people we are fully committed to carrying out as thorough an investigation as possible.”

:: Anyone with information should contact police on 101 quoting (0756 of February 20).

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