Blackpool Victoria Hospital boss makes statement to staff after man charged with sex assaults
The boss of Blackpool Victoria Hospital has issued a statement to staff after a healthcare worker was charged with sexually assaulting seven women at the hospital.
Hernando Puno, 51, of Layton, Blackpool, is accused of carrying out the assaults on the site between November 2012 and March 2021.
The Gazette revealed yesterday that Puno, who has been suspended by the hospital, had been charged with nine counts of sexual assault against seven women.
Police said the charges follow their investigation into allegations of mistreatment and neglect on the hospital’s stroke unit, although the inquiry was not linked to the ongoing investigation into these allegations.
Meanwhile, a murder investigation into the death of Valerie Kneale is continuing separately to the latest developments.
Mr Puno, who has been released on police bail, is due to appear at Blackpool Magistrates' Court on January 4.
Trish Armstrong-Child, chief executive of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, has sent a statement to staff members in relation to the charges against Mr Puno.
The email stated: "I wanted to contact you personally with what I know will be a distressing update connected to the police investigation focused on the stroke unit at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
"The Trust has fully co-operated with police colleagues throughout and continues to do so.
"Whilst it is a source of huge distress for colleagues, we remain committed to finding the truth and I continue to urge anyone with any information to come forward and tell the police what they know.
"In the meantime, I want to tell you that the team has done everything possible to ensure patients are safe and families should be reassured about the quality of care.
"The Trust also continues to support staff dealing with this extremely distressing news. I will provide more information as appropriate."
Anyone with information in connection with the investigation can contact police on 101 or report online here quoting log 0757 of December 1.