A nurse who described himself as an “angel turned evil” will be sentenced to life imprisonment on Tuesday after he was convicted of a murderous spate of poisonings at a hospital where he may have gained employment without proper qualifications.
Police believe Victorino Chua, 49, who induced a series of lethal or life-threatening insulin overdoses in his victims, may have secured work in NHS hospitals with fake credentials when he arrived in Britain from his native Philippines in 2002.
The ease with which the nurse may have gained employment by providing just photocopies of his claimed qualifications has prompted Greater Manchester Police to write to four government departments, including the Department of Health, to express concern about the vetting processes for nurses from the Philippines.
In the letter, GMP described Chua as a “narcissistic psychopath” and said they had identified “significant opportunities for fraud in the qualification process for nurses in the Philippines”. The Filipino father-of-two showed no emotion as he was convicted of 33 separate charges, including two of murder and 22 of attempted grievous bodily harm, while working with mainly elderly patients at Stepping Hill Hospital.
The convictions opened the way for his 21 victims to sue the hospital trust for compensation as it emerged that detectives believe Chua may have carried out other attacks in the Philippines and potentially elsewhere in the UK. Three victims have already begun proceedings against the NHS trust which runs Stepping Hill.
Both the Stockport NHS Foundation Trust and the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) have insisted that Chua had complied with the registration requirements in place when he first came to Britain in 2003. The NMC said it had tightened its registration procedures for staff from the Philippines.