An investigation has been launched after three premature babies contracted blood poisoning in a neonatal intensive care unit.

The three babies are being treated for septicaemia at the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton, caused by a bacteria known as bacillus cereus.

Public Health England have indicated that the children were infected after receiving “parental nuitrition” intravenuously.

The three babies are among 15 affected at six trusts across the country in the incident.

One baby has died but the three babies in Brighton are said to be responding well to treatment.

A spokesman for the Royal Sussex County Hospital said: “I can confirm that at the weekend three babies in the neo-natal unit all came down with this bug.

“It has been tracked down to a batch of food that we give to the babies by a saline drip and the three babies have all be treated with anti-biotics.

“They have responded well and have all progressed well. All families have been kept informed about what is going on and the progress being made.

“Following an investigation by Public Health England the batch has been withdrawn and we will continue to work closely with them.”