A member of staff at a mental health hospital in Gloucester has died after being stabbed at work.
The female victim, who has not been named, was attacked at the inpatient unit of Wotton Lawn Hospital.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “The events… are devastating and our thoughts are with the family, friends and colleagues of the staff member.”
A man in his 60s was arrested on suspicion of murder and is currently in custody, police said.
‘Tragic’ situationA spokesman for 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, who was unable to confirm the role of the staff member, described the situation as “tragic”.
A meeting of the trust and police about the attack took place earlier.
Det Ch Insp Steve Porter said formal identification of the victim had not yet taken place and her name would not be released until then.
Tanya Palmer, regional manager for the public services union, Unison, said the news was “utterly devastating”.
“A number of our members have phoned us this morning in utter distress saying they can’t believe it’s happened,” she said.
“They feel absolutely worried about everybody involved.”
According to NHS figures, 679 staff at the trust were assaulted in 2012-13 out of 2,346 declared staff.
The number is down from the previous year where 783 staff were assaulted.
The victim was helped by her colleagues following the attack at 07:30 BST on Wednesday, before being taken to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, the spokesman said.
All the staff are very subdued.”
Denise LuckmanAdmin assistant, Gloucestershire Royal Hospital
“It is with deep sadness that we confirm that our colleague died a short time later. Our thoughts remain with their family and friends at this extremely difficult time.”
The 88-bed Wotton Lawn Hospital has four admission wards, a psychiatric intensive care unit, and a low secure unit.
It is one of four sites 2gether runs in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire. The trust said it cares for more than 1,300 people a year in its hospitals.
The facility is yards away from the city’s main Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, where workers have spoken of their “shock” at the incident.
‘Huge shock’Admin assistant at the endoscopy unit, Denise Luckman, 44, said: “I’ve worked here for 10 years and nothing like this has ever happened.
“It has been a huge shock to everybody. You don’t expect to go to work, to care for patients, and to have that happen.
“All the staff are very subdued. It just shows that these things can happen.”
The hospital’s last report from the Care Quality Commission, carried out in December, said safety standards were “being met”.