A HEALTHCARE worker arrested on suspicion of killing babies at the Countess of Chester Hospital remains on police bail – almost a month after she was released without charge.

A spokesman for Cheshire Police confirmed to The Standard this morning (Tuesday, July 31) that the unnamed woman is still on bail as the investigation continues.

She had been arrested on Tuesday, July 3, on suspicion of murdering eight babies and attempting to kill a further six at the hospital’s neonatal unit between March 2015 and July 2016.

On July 6 police released a statement which said: “Cheshire Police can confirm that the woman arrested on Tuesday 3 July has now been bailed pending further enquiries.

“We continue to recognise that this investigation has a huge impact on all of the families, staff, and patients at the hospital as well as members of the public.

“Parents of all the babies continue to be kept fully updated and are being supported throughout the process by specially trained officers.

“This investigation is very much ongoing and there are no set timescales at this stage but as soon as we are able to provide any further updates we will do.”

Detectives have been probing the deaths of 17 babies and 15 non-fatal collapses at the Countess of Chester since May last year.

The incidents were said to have taken place between March 2015 and July 2016.

Tony Chambers, the chief executive of the NHS trust that runs the Countess, thanked staff for their ongoing support during a “really difficult time”.

He told a recent board meeting: “The same week as we, the NHS, was celebrating its 70th birthday the police announced that a local health worker had been arrested in connection to the ongoing investigation within our neonatal unit. I don’t intend to discuss any of that now.

“It is subject to an ongoing police inquiry but it is worth just acknowledging and thanking the ongoing support of the doctors and nurses, various others within those areas, who will be feeling under the spotlight, under scrutiny, and we send them all our best wishes and thanks for supporting safe, kind, effective obstetrics in neonatal services at what must be a really difficult time.”

Anyone with information relevant to the investigation can email operation.hummingbird@cheshire.pnn.police.uk

Information can also be passed on anonymously, via Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111 or by calling 101.