A nurse has today been found guilty of murdering two patients and poisoning 20 others over two years while working in an NHS hospital.
Victorino Chua, 49, injected deadly levels of insulin into saline bags and ampoules while working on two wards at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport.
Chua, who police believe may also have faked his qualifications before coming to Britain, was convicted of murdering Tracey Arden, 44, and Derek Weaver, 83, but cleared of killing Arnold Lancaster, 71.
Following the verdicts, police questioned whether the killer from the Philippines, who brought his family to the UK in 2002, was a fully qualified nurse.
A year after he arrived in the UK, officials at the Nursing and Midwifery Council accepted photocopies of his supposed qualifications, education and training as proof of his credentials – paving the way for him to work in the NHS.
But no checks were carried out with his previous hospital employer in the Philippines, whom he had left under a cloud.
Det Supt Simon Barraclough said: ‘The mindset of people who work in the NHS is that they’re there to save patients or make their death more comfortable.
‘The last thing in the world they think is that there’s somebody in their midst who’s trying to poison and kill patients. It doesn’t feature on their radar.
‘He is a serial killer – he’s killed three people in this particular instance of offending. He could well have killed more if it were not for the intervention of other medical staff.’
And he cast doubt on whether the regulatory authorities in the Philippines which vet nurses had carried out thorough checks into Chua’s nursing college transcript of records, which feature suspicious amendments.
Amid claims Chua may have used forged qualifications to qualify as a nurse, Mr Barraclough said: ‘I have no confidence in the qualifications he has provided via the Professional Regulation Commission (which verifies the qualifications of nurses).’