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Countess of Chester Hospital faces corporate manslaughter probe after Lucy Letby baby murders
4 October 2023, 12:42
Police are investigating the Countess of Chester Hospital for corporate manslaughter after Lucy Letby was found to have murdered seven babies.
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Neonatal nurse Letby was found guilty in August of murdering seven newborns and trying to kill six more in 2015 and 2016.
The hospital called in Cheshire Police to investigate in 2017, saying in a statement that this was to "seek assurances that enable us to rule out unnatural causes of death.
Doctors who originally raised concerns about Letby in June 2015 were told by hospital bosses to apologise to her.
Dr Ravi Jayaram, who is a senior paediatrician at the Countess of Chester Hospital, said he was told to "draw a line" under his concerns and apologise to the 33-year-old in a meeting
Letby was moved to clerical duties after two triplet boys died under her care and another baby boy collapsed on three successive days in June 2016.
Announcing the corporate manslaughter investigation, Detective Superintendent Simon Blackwell said on Wednesday: "Following the lengthy trial, subsequent conviction of Lucy Letby and an assessment by senior investigative officers, I can confirm that Cheshire Constabulary is carrying out an investigation into corporate manslaughter at the Countess of Chester Hospital.
"The investigation will focus on the indictment period of the charges for Lucy Letby, from June 2015 to June 2016, and consider areas including senior leadership and decision making to determine whether any criminality has taken place.
"At this stage we are not investigating any individuals in relation to gross negligence manslaughter.
"The investigation is in the very early stages and we are unable to go into any further details or answer specific questions at this time.
"We recognise that this investigation will have a significant impact on a number of different stakeholders including the families in this case and we are continuing to work alongside and support them during this process."
Letby began work as a children's nurse at the Countess of Chester Hospital in 2011, when she graduated from university.
She also did a training placement at Liverpool Women’s Hospital. Letby had a clean record with the Nursing and Midwifery Council during her time at the hospital.
Letby was sentenced to a whole life order after being found guilty in August. She will face a retrial on an outstanding allegation that she attempted to murder a baby girl, after the original jury could not come to a verdict.