NEWS
18/05/2018 10:23 BST | Updated 18/05/2018 12:48 BST

Sergei Skripal Discharged From Salisbury District Hospital

Treating the Skripals has been a 'huge and unprecedented challenge', the hospital said.

Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal has been discharged from hospital after he and his daughter were poisoned with a deadly nerve agent in Salisbury in March.

The 66-year-old and his daughter, Yulia, 33, were both taken to hospital in a critical condition after being found slumped on a bench after being poisoned with the Soviet-developed nerve agent Novichok.

Both Yulia, and DS Nick Bailey, who was also exposed to the nerve agent when he first arrived on the scene, have already been discharged. 

Lorna Wilkinson, director of nursing at the hospital, said that treating the Skripals has been a “huge and unprecedented challenge”.

The hospital said in a statement on Friday: “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.”

Skripal’s recovery will now take place away from the hospital, Wilkinson said.

The Skripals were poisoned with a dose of liquid nerve agent as high as 100 grams, the head of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said earlier this month. 

Cara Charles-Barks, chief executive of Salisbury District Hospital, said that the fact the three victims were able to be discharged so soon after the attack is “thanks to the hard work, skill and professionalism” of medical staff at the hospital.

Charles-Barks added: “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.”

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Detectives investigating the Skripals’ poisoning said that they believe the pair were poisoned at the front door of the home of the former Russian spy.

Scotland Yard said that detectives from the UK’s Counter Terrorism Policing network are making “good progress” in their investigation and welcomed the news that Skripal had been released from hospital.

“In the interests of Sergei and Yulia’s safety, we will not be discussing any protective or security arrangements that are in place,” police added.

The British government blamed Russia for the attack but the Kremlin denies any involvement.

Theresa May’s official spokesman said: “We welcome the news hospital staff regard him well enough to be discharged.”

Fallout from the attack led to the biggest Western expulsion of Russian diplomats since the height of the Cold War.

Following the release of Skripal’s daughter from hospital, she rejected Russia’s help after her home country claimed the UK has “abducted” her.