WEST Mercia Police have confirmed an investigation into the deaths of a number of patients who were under the care of a consultant surgeon, has been launched.

Sudip Sarker worked for the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, working at the Alexandra Hospital and at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

North Worcestershire Superintendent Kevin Purcell said the investigation began after police received a letter in December last year.

Supt Purcell said: “We were made aware that there were a number of concerns in relation to the deaths of patients in 2012 who had been under Mr Sarker’s care.

"We are in the early stages of obtaining the relevant information from hospitals and other health organisations in order to conduct our investigation.

“We cannot be specific about numbers at this time but can confirm that the deaths of three patients, whose joint inquest was adjourned in December, form part of this inquiry. The families of those people have been informed and updated on the situation.

“This is a complex matter which will undoubtedly take a considerable amount of time to investigate thoroughly.

“We are very mindful of the importance of patient confidentiality and the impact on the wider community.

"We will continue to liaise with the key partner agencies involved and people can rest assured that we will be conducting our inquiries in a sensitive and appropriate manner as befitting an investigation of this nature.”