Staff Member Arrested Over James Paget Hospital 'Murder'

5 October 2013, 11:33 | Updated: 5 October 2013, 17:06

A member of staff at the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston's been arrested on suspicion of murder after a patient there died from a suspected overdose.

76-year-old James May from Great Yarmouth, died at the hospital two weeks ago.

The hospital then investigated the circumstances around Mr May's death and decided to report an allegation of medical malpractice in connection with his death to police on Monday 30 September.

The death is now being treated as suspicious and an investigation by Norfolk Police is underway.

This morning a member of the hospital’s medical staff, a middle-aged man, was arrested by officers on suspicion of murder.

Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Chief Inspector Paul Durham said: “We are investigating an allegation that a drugs overdose was administered to a patient, leading to his death.

“A Home Office post-mortem, carried out earlier this week, determined the cause of Mr May’s death as heart failure and we now await the results of further toxicology tests which will help inform our inquiry.

“We understand that this news may generate concern and it’s important for us to underline that our investigation, which is still at an early stage, is based on a single report of an isolated incident and that the hospital trust is co-operating fully with the investigation. “

The Home Office post-mortem examination was carried out at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital on Wednesday.

Christine Allen, Chief Executive of the James Paget University Hospitals said: “Our thoughts are with the family of this patient at what is a very difficult time."
“Our priority is patient safety and we understand that this news will cause concern. At this time, we believe it is an isolated incident and relates to the alleged action of a single member of staff. The member of staff against whom the allegation has been made is absent from the Trust and will not return until the investigation is completed.”
“Throughout this difficult period, the James Paget University Hospital will continue to provide the best possible care to our patients and we are fully co-operating with the police.”