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Former Russian spy discharged from hospital following nerve agent attack

UK News | Published:

Salisbury District Hospital said Sergei Skripal left on Friday morning.

Police in protective suits at The Maltings shopping centre, where former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found critically ill (Ben Birchall/PA)

Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal has been discharged from hospital more than two months after being exposed to a nerve agent along with his daughter.

Mr Skripal, 66, and his daughter, Yulia Skripal, 33, were admitted to Salisbury District Hospital after coming into contact with the military-grade nerve agent novichok.

The pair were left fighting for their lives after being found unconscious on a park bench in Salisbury, Wiltshire, on March 4.

Personnel in hazmat suits work to secure a tent covering a bench in the Maltings shopping centre in Salisbury, where former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found critically ill by exposure to a nerve agent (Andrew Matthews/PA)
Personnel in hazmat suits work to secure a tent covering a bench in Salisbury, where Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found critically ill after exposure to a nerve agent (Andrew Matthews/PA)

In a statement on Friday morning, the hospital said all three patients had now been released.

DS Bailey went home on March 22, while Ms Skripal was discharged on April 10.

A hospital spokesman said: “While these patients have now been discharged, their right to patient confidentiality remains and limits us from giving detailed accounts of the treatment these individuals received.

“However, treating people who are so acutely unwell, having been poisoned by nerve agents, requires stabilising them, keeping them alive until their bodies could produce more enzymes to replace those that had been poisoned.”

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Sergei Skripal and his daughter were treated at Salisbury District Hospital (Steve Parsons/PA)
Sergei Skripal and his daughter were treated at Salisbury District Hospital (Steve Parsons/PA)

The attack in March sparked a wave of diplomatic expulsions by Britain and its allies, and retaliatory ones by Russia.

Moscow has repeatedly denied responsibility for the attack.

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Hospital chief executive Cara Charles-Barks described Mr Skripal’s discharge as “fantastic news”.

“That he, Yulia and DS Bailey have been able to leave us so soon after coming into contact with this nerve agent is thanks to the hard work, skill and professionalism of our clinicians, who provide outstanding care to all our patients, day in and day out,” she said.

“This has been a difficult time for those caught up in this incident – the patients, our staff and the people of Salisbury.

“I want to thank the public for their support, and I want to pay a special tribute to both the clinical staff here at the trust and those who work so hard behind the scenes.

“They’ve demonstrated the very best of the NHS.”

Lorna Wilkinson, director of nursing at the hospital, said Mr Skripal’s discharge was “an important stage in his recovery”.

“Treating him and the other two people poisoned by this nerve agent, while still providing outstanding care to the other patients who rely on our hospital, has been a huge and unprecedented challenge that I’m proud our staff at Salisbury Hospital have risen to,” she said.

Professor Steve Powis, medical director of NHS England, said: “I would like to thank the nurses, doctors, and all the other staff whose skills, compassion and dedication have saved the lives of Yulia and Sergei Skripal and Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey.”

Prof Powis described their “remarkable recovery” as a reminder of the “world-class treatment and care” available at local hospitals around the country.

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