The Department of Health have launched an inquiry into an outbreak of Hepatitis B at a Rochdale WI knitting needle swap scheme after untreated cases resulted in the death of sixteen members. 

Problems seemed to have arisen following the merger of the group, last September, with Rochdale council’s previously existing needle exchange programme, dubbed JFS (an acronym standing for ‘Jaggeds For Skag-‘eads’), whereby local pharmaceutical enthusiasts can trade old needles for new.

The WI scheme was originally the brainchild of local resident Mrs G. Duffy, 76. It ran successfully for two years prior to their Falinge Estate based WI club house being compulsorily purchased by Rochdale Borough Council and merged with the JFS scheme last September.

“I had a really nice double-pointed knitting needle set that I wasn’t really using any more, and thought it would be a nice idea to swap them for something like a good quality 16″ circular needle for doing woolly jumpers.” she told us.

“I didn’t expect it to all end in horrible and unnecessary carnage.” she added.

Get monthly highlights in your inbox