On the 21st August 2023, Lucy Letby was sentenced to 7 consecutive life sentences for the murder of babies who were in her care, she was a nurse working at the Countess of Chester Hospital, she worked in the intensive care unit and with the babies within the hospital. In June 2016 Lucy was removed from duties after that here had been suspicions after an outbreak of unexpected collapses and infant deaths. Her trail lasted from October 2022 to August 2023 after being charged with eight counts of murder and ten counts of attempted murder.
Lucy Letby’s methods included injecting the infants with air or insulin, overfeeding them or physically assaulting them. She also stole 250 confidential documents relating to the children’s care to keep as mementos of her crimes and falsified patient records to avert suspicion.
Lucy Letby was born in 1990 and had always dreamed of being a nurse as she needed medical intervention when she was born so wanted to work within the sector. There was an informal review conducted in June 2015, and three of these cases resulted in deaths in the same month. A consultant and lead neonatologist at the Countess of Chester Hospital NHS foundation Trust reported these deaths to the trust but the committee did not group the incidents together and this could have prevented this continuing.
In 2016, the lead neonatologist communicated findings via an ‘urgent’ email to the trusts medical director leading to an eventual meeting in May 2016 including that Letby was present at all of the babies deaths. However, no action was taken as a result of the meeting.
There were many findings during the court case that came out as to how Letby’s behaviour could have been prevented further by multi-agency discussions and taking whistle blowing into account.
What does this mean to you?
Although the Letby case is, thankfully, rare, we can learn from this case, we need to remember that safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility and if there is something wrong in your setting, you need to report it and ensure that people in power listen.
If you have any safeguarding concerns please do not hesitate to contact us