Lucy Letby sat with her parents in a meeting with senior managers at the Countess of Chester Hospital, where she worked, waiting patiently for an apology. She had prepared a statement that was read out by her parents to Tony Chambers, the hospital’s chief executive, about being bullied and victimised on the neonatal unit.
It was December 22, 2016, and for the previous 18 months, two doctors on the unit had been trying to find an answer for a series of mysterious deaths of babies. Their detective work had led them to a single common denominator: Letby. The neonatal nurse had been on shift for each of the incidents.
Rumours of a killer on the ward had spread and Letby had complained about the doctors and their finger-pointing, claiming she was being wrongly blamed.
Chambers, who had trained as a nurse, was convinced by Letby’s account, and in front of her parents, John and Susan, offered sincere apologies on behalf of the hospital trust. The doctors in question would be “dealt with’’.
Except the doctors were right. By that point Letby had secretly murdered seven babies and tried to kill six more, one of them twice.
An investigation by The Sunday Times, based on a cache of internal documents, reveals in detail how the hospital delayed calling the police for months and that senior management, including the board, sided with Letby against doctors after commissioning perfunctory investigations.
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Source: The Times, 19 August 2023