June 3 2009

– Detectives investigating the suspected sabotage of IV drips used on children’s wards have arrested a woman hospital worker.

Twenty-one punctured intravenous drips were found in a secure store room at Basildon University Hospital in Essex last month.

A batch of more than 30 IV drip bags, which contain saline and sugar solutions, were also seized after fears they had been tampered with.

Basildon University Hospital, worker arrested for allegedly tampering with drip bags in store room

Arrest: An NHS worker at Basildon University Hospital is being questioned on suspicion of tampering with drip bags on children’s wards

Forensic tests are still being carried out to establish whether any toxic substances had been added to the bags.

The 21-year-old employee was arrested today on suspicion of criminal damage and contamination of goods. She was later freed on police bail.

The equipment was found the day after a three-year-old girl died at the hospital.

Police initially refused to rule out a link between the tampering and her death but a post mortem found she died of natural causes. She had been seriously ill on arrival at hospital.

Officers have been trawling through CCTV footage to establish who had access to the store room. Insiders said ‘lots of people’ had the code to open it.

Security at the 60-bed children’s unit has since been tightened.

A batch of more than 30 intravenous drip bags, which contain saline and sugar solutions, were seized by police after a member of staff discovered they were wet on April 19.

It is standard hospital procedure to pass IV bags from hand to hand before giving them to patients to check they are not leaking.

intravenous drip

Investigation: 21 intravenous drip bags were found to be punctured and were sent off for forensic examination

Hundreds of staff who have access to the children’s wards, including nurses, pharmacists, porters and cleaners, were also to be interviewed.

All staff are already required to carry a swipe card to unlock doors to the three paediatric wards and visitors had to speak to a member of staff through an intercom to gain access.

An Essex police spokeswoman said: ‘Detectives have arrested a woman in connection with damage to IV bags at Basildon University Hospital.

‘A 21-year-old woman from Wickford has been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and an offence under the Public Order Act, which is contaminating goods.’

A woman disguised in a wig and sunglasses abducted a newborn baby boy from the hospital’s maternity ward in 1997.

Karli Hawthorne was found at a house a few miles away the next day when neighbours become suspicious.

Mother-of-three Denise Giddings, 32, was later charged with abduction and was put on probation for three years when a court heard she was suffering from serious mental delusions.

Other controversies at the hospital include an expectant mother of twins being ferried 250 miles between four hospitals in December when Basildon Hospital said it had no intensive care cots available.

And in 2007, the trust responsible for the hospital was ordered to pay a £1.3million lump sum plus £95,000 each year to a girl left brain damaged at birth in 2001 following a series of blunders.

– Andrew Levy


About Jumpin' Jack Cash

Deep connections are the most important aspect of my existence. I don’t care if people don’t know what they want. I love books. I’m cynical of love stories, although I’m romantic. I adore gardens. I like women who challenge me. I love the rain as an excuse to stay inside and dream. I'm furiously impatient. If I ask you a question best to tell me the truth as I'm likely to already know the answer. I'm a carnivore. I continuously underestimate the magic of fresh flowers in my home. I love warm rain in the summer. My mood elevates to epic proportions when the sun shines. Tell me not to do something and I'll do it twice and take photos. Running is my antidepressant. I loathe lies. I rarely forgive a lie. Loyalty and honesty are my most noble virtues, and I value them more than anything in other people. I love to love, and am able to fall in love very quickly, although it's only ever happened once. I understood myself and fixed myself only after destroying myself. My greatest excitement comes from deliberately getting lost in foreign cities. I can be extremely loud and frighteningly silent. I hate insinuations. I love storms. Justice for all. I'm a proud man, but welcome the influence of the feminine soul. I have two sisters. I’m a dreamer. I’m a deep thinker. Don’t deal with guilt trips or drama that well. I'm extremely stubborn and persistent. I'm brilliant at keeping secrets. I love driving. I become absolutely and completely lost while watching a burning fire. When the toast pops from the toaster I’m never ready and shit myself. I play the guitar, but require much improvement. Solitude and warmth of the sun are perfect together. I’ve been married once and now divorced. I’m a music junkie. Chocolate mousse is the shit. I curse too much. I find it difficult to make friends. I spent four years as a firefighter. I’ve run my own company since 1991. Bright lights, big cities. I’ve been an executive producer of a feature film. Some people don’t care, and that’s the biggest let-down of the human race. There are cures and solutions for many evils, but no remedy for the worst of them all - the apathy of human beings. The sound of the Italian language being spoken is as good as my favourite music. I hate corrupt cops. I relentlessly and passionately pursue anybody and anything that sets my soul on fire. I'm a dog lover, and all my dogs are considered family members. I have an obsession with photography. I have some close friends who are household names, but shall always remain anonymous. I’m crazy but not lazy. Losing a soulmate has hurt me badly. My two young sons are the nucleus of my universe. I love airports. I love freedom. If you are dishonest or disloyal, I can erase you from my life and memory immediately and permanently. I yearn to explore, dream about and discover as many friendships, deep connections and places, one possibly can in a lifetime.
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