Michael Parke death: Manslaughter probe at West Cumberland Hospital

West Cumberland Hospital Mr Parke died at the hospital last December and concerns were immediately raised

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A manslaughter investigation has begun at a hospital in Cumbria after the death of a 40-year-old patient.

Michael Parke, of Cockermouth, died at Whitehaven's West Cumberland Hospital on 6 December.

Concerns were raised over his care and Cumbria Police said it had launched a gross negligence manslaughter and corporate manslaughter investigation.

North Cumbria Hospital Trusts said it was co-operating fully with the police investigation.

A trust spokeswoman said: "The trust can confirm that a police investigation is ongoing into the death of Mr Parke.

"The trust is fully cooperating with the police investigation and is not able to comment further whilst this investigation is ongoing."

Family support

Last month it was announced that a national health team was due to visit the West Cumberland Hospital and Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle to investigate their "higher-than-expected death rates".

A statement from Cumbria Police said: "On 7 December 2012, police were informed of the death of Michael Parke who died while in the care of a local hospital.

"We were informed of the death by the coroner who raised concerns and an investigation commenced, which is still ongoing.

"The scope of the investigation is surrounding gross negligence manslaughter and corporate manslaughter.

"Mr Parke's family is being supported by police officers while the investigation continues."

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