Government launches independent inquiry following hospital infant murders
“The inquiry will look at the circumstances surrounding the deaths and incidents, including how concerns raised by clinicians were dealt with,” the government said
The government has initiated an independent inquiry following the conviction of nurse Lucy Letby on Friday (18) for the murder of seven newborn babies and the attempted murder of six others in the neonatal unit of a hospital in northwest England.
In the case involving the nurse, 33, who was previously responsible for premature infants’ care, the jury characterised her actions as “persistent, calculated, and cold-blooded.”
These offenses occurred between June 2015 and June 2016, during her employment at the Countess of Chester hospital in north-west England.
Tragic victims of her actions included two identical triplet brothers who lost their lives within a 24-hour timeframe.
Additionally, a newborn weighing under 1kg (2lb) faced a fatal outcome due to air injection, while a girl born 10 weeks prematurely had her life prematurely cut short after four attempts.
Throughout the trial, disturbing revelations came to light regarding the nurse’s methods of murder including using a tube to suffocate the infants through their throats.
“The inquiry will look at the circumstances surrounding the deaths and incidents, including how concerns raised by clinicians were dealt with,” the government said in a statement.
The inquiry would look to ensure lessons are learned and to provide answers to the parents and families.
“This inquiry will seek to ensure the parents and families impacted get the answers they need,” Health Secretary Steve Barclay said.
“It will help us identify where and how patient safety standards failed to be met and ensure mothers and their partners rightly have faith in our healthcare system.”