Gloucester NHS worker Sharon Wall stabbed to death at work

High view of Wotton Lawn Hospital Sharon wall, 53, was attacked on Wednesday morning

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A healthcare assistant at a mental health hospital in Gloucester has died after being stabbed at work.

Sharon Wall, 53, from Gloucester, 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.

Gloucestershire Police said it had been granted a further 36 hours to question the man and "secure and preserve further evidence".

'Extremely distressed'

Det Ch Insp Steve Porter, the senior investigating officer, said: "The family are extremely distressed at the tragic loss of their loved one and have asked for some privacy and time to grieve during this difficult period."

A meeting of the trust and police about the attack took place earlier.

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.

Wotton Lawn Hospital The facility is close to the Gloucestershire Royal Hospital

Ms Wall was helped by her colleagues following the attack at 07:30 BST on Wednesday, before being taken to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, the spokesman said.

Start Quote

All the staff are very subdued.”

End Quote Denise Luckman Admin 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".

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