Liverpool hospital announces review of care after nurse arrested on suspicion of murdering eight babies

Ms Letby is understood to have worked at Countess of Chester hospital, where deaths occurred, since qualifying in 2011 but may also have worked at Liverpool Women’s Trust as a student

Alex Matthews-King
Health Correspondent
Wednesday 04 July 2018 15:47
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Nurse Lucy Letby’s home was searched and her parents interviewed after the arrest on suspicion of murder
Nurse Lucy Letby’s home was searched and her parents interviewed after the arrest on suspicion of murder

A Liverpool hospital has launched a “routine review” of patients it cared for during the period where nurse Lucy Letby, who continues to be questioned in police custody on suspicion of the murder of eight babies and the attempted murder of six other infants.

Liverpool Women’s Trust, it said it was cooperating with the ongoing investigation and there was “currently no suggestion” any patients came to harm at the trust.

Letby was arrested as part of a police investigation into the deaths of 17 infants at the neonatal unit of the Countess of Chester hospital, Cheshire.

Detectives said they were also looking at 15 non-fatal collapses at the unit between March 2015 and July 2016.

Neither the trust nor Cheshire Police have confirmed the name of the healthcare worker under arrest but officers have searched Ms Letby’s home and interviewed her parents.

“A healthcare worker currently involved in a police investigation undertook placements at Liverpool Women’s during their training,” a spokesperson for Liverpool Women’s Trust said.

“We are cooperating with police as part of their investigation which includes a routine review of patients cared for on our Neonatal Unit during the time of these placements.

“There is currently no suggestion that any patients at Liverpool Women’s came to any harm in relation to this investigation.”

In a 2013 interview with the Chester & District Standard, Ms Letby said she cared for babies requiring various levels of support.

She had worked on the unit at the Countess of Chester as a student nurse during three years of training before qualifying as a children’s nurse at the University of Chester in 2011.

Ms Letby said she began working on the unit after graduating.

Detectives launched an investigation into infant deaths at the hospital in May last year, initially looking at the deaths of 15 babies between June 2015 and June 2016 and this has now been widened.

Detective Inspector Paul Hughes said: “Whilst this is a significant step forward in our inquiries, it is important to remember that the investigation is very much active and ongoing at this stage.”

He added that the parents of all the babies were continuing to be kept updated and are being supported by specially trained officers.

The Countess of Chester hospital had carried out a number of independent expert medical reviews into the deaths before calling in police.

Its medical director, Ian Harvey, said they were continuing to support police with their investigation.

He said: “Asking the police to look into this was not something we did lightly, but we need to do everything we can to understand what has happened here and get the answers we and the families so desperately want.”

Mr Harvey added that the hospital is “confident the unit is safe to continue in its current form”.

At the end of June the NHS was rocked by the news that a “culture of lethal opiate prescribing” had killed as many as 650 people at Gosport War Memorial hospital in a 12-year period.

The latest arrests come in the same week the health service is supposed to be celebrating its 70th anniversary.

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