Devon

Rose Polge: Family of missing junior doctor grateful for 'love and support'

Rose Polge Image copyright Devon and Cornwall Police
Image caption Rose Polge had not been seen since February

The family of a missing junior doctor, whose body is thought to have been found in the sea off Dorset, have thanked people for "the continued love and support" they have received.

Rose Polge, 25, who worked at Torbay Hospital in Devon, has not been seen since 12 February.

A body was recovered from the sea east of Portland Bill on 1 April, but it has not yet been formally identified.

The hospital said it was "deeply saddened".

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'Very distressing time'

The doctor's car was found in February at Ansteys Cove near Torquay, the town where she worked.

Rose's family, from Cambridgeshire, and her boyfriend released a statement saying: "We appreciate the continued love and support that we have been receiving."

They appealed for people to respect their privacy following "this tragic news" and while they wait for formal identification.

Image caption Rose Polge's car was found in a car park near Ansteys Cove in Torbay

Dr Rob Dyer, medical director at Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, said: "We are deeply saddened to hear the news that a woman's body has been recovered.

"Whilst we have not yet received confirmation of identity, we understand that Rose's family have been informed of this development.

"Our thoughts are with her family and loved ones at this very distressing time.

"We will continue to do whatever we can to support the authorities, as well as providing support to her colleagues at this difficult time."

The BBC understands a note found in Dr Polge's car related mainly to personal issues, but included a passing reference to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

It is understood Dr Polge had been an active campaigner against plans to change working hours and conditions for junior doctors, and in January posted a new Facebook profile picture, featuring the hashtag #NotFairNotSafe.

Devon and Cornwall Police said it was working with Dorset Police and the Coroner's office, and awaiting the results of the formal identification.

Timeline of events

  • Friday 12 February - Rose Polge's car is found in a car park near Ansteys Cove in Torbay
  • Saturday 13 February - The family and boyfriend of Dr Polge join more than 100 people searching the area around Ansteys Cove
  • Sunday 14 February - Torbay Hospital confirmed that Rose Polge works there as a junior doctor. "We will do whatever we can to support the authorities," a statement said.
  • Monday 15 February - Colin Smith, from Royston Hockey Club where Dr Polge used to play, said: "We just don't know what we can do."
  • Tuesday 16 February - Dr Polge's family release a statement saying they are "overwhelmed" by the support from her friends and colleagues
  • Friday 1 April - A woman's body is recovered from the sea east of Portland Headland in Dorset
  • Monday 11 April - Police announce the discovery and say relatives of Dr Polge have been informed

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