Second death in care home probe
A second elderly woman has died as police continue to investigate a private care home.
Three residents of the Partridge Care Centre, on Partridge Road, Harlow, were taken to hospital on August 3. One died shortly after being admitted to the hospital and Essex Police have confirmed that a second has now died.
Officers have arrested and bailed at 36-year-old woman from Enfield, north London, in connection with the incident. There are unconfirmed reports that the residents were victims of insulin overdoses.
A police spokeswoman said detectives are continuing to investigate the circumstances leading to the admissions to the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow.
The force confirmed that one elderly woman, aged 89, from Waltham Abbey, Essex, died at the hospital on August 6 and a second woman, aged 80, died in hospital on Wednesday. A man remains in a serious condition in hospital.
A post-mortem examination has been carried out on the patient who died on August 6 but further tests are being carried out to establish the cause of death.
"Inquiries are now focused on the long-term standards of care in the home regarding medicines given to residents," the spokeswoman said.
"Detectives are also considering the wider care and treatment of residents at the home as well as a number of historic complaints. Investigators have spoken to family members and residents at the care centre as part of their ongoing inquiries."
Specialist public protection officers from Essex Police are working with the Essex Safeguarding Adults Board including the primary care trust, Essex County Council, the Care Quality Commission and Partridge Care Centre.
The agencies say they will review all care procedures to ensure the highest possible standards of care for elderly and vulnerable residents.