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The hospital where Lucy Letby murdered babies is being investigated by police for corporate manslaughter, it emerged today.  

Cheshire Constabulary said the force is conducting a corporate manslaughter investigation at the Countess of Chester Hospital following the neonatal nurse’s conviction for murdering seven babies and trying to kill six others. 

Detective Superintendent Simon Blackwell said the investigation would examine the period in which Letby carried out her killing spree – June 2015 to June 2016 – and examine the conduct of those in ‘senior leadership’ positions at the hospital. 

He said ‘no individuals’ are currently being investigated for gross negligence manslaughter. 

Hospital bosses had as many as ten opportunities to act on concerns that Letby was linked to a spike in deaths or collapses on the Countess of Chester Hospital’s neo-natal unit before police were finally called in.

Lucy Letby was sentenced to a whole life order after jurors convicted her of the murders of seven babies and the attempted murders of six others

The Countess of Chester Hospital, where Letby carried out her killing spree 

Announcing the probe, Det Sup Blackwell said: ‘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 was handed a whole life order following a 10-month trial, which heard how hospital managers and doctors missed vital opportunities.

When consultants finally became suspicious and demanded Letby be removed from her frontline job, hospital bosses refused to believe she was to blame and moved her to an office job. 

But they fought to get her reinstated onto the neo-natal unit – even insisting senior medics write her a letter of apology after a formal employment grievance she pursued.

In the end, consultants persuaded executives to go to police in May 2017.

Following Letby’s conviction in August, Dr Stephen Brearey, the consultant paediatrician then in charge of the unit, accused hospital management of a ‘cover-up’.

His colleague, TV medic Dr Ravi Jayaram, said lives could have been saved had managers acted on their concerns sooner and accused them of failing to act to protect the hospital’s reputation.

The maternity unit at the Countess of Chester Hospital where Letby operated 

Letby (when she was arrested) was handed a whole-life order, meaning that she will never be released 

Dr John Gibbs, another consultant paediatrician at the hospital, said: ‘In the 11 months before the police got involved, after we raised concerns, senior managers were extremely reluctant to involve police, to discuss what was happening.

How a criminal prosecution could unfold

Corporate manslaughter claims can be brought against companies, public bodies or associations when an organisation holds a ‘relevant duty of care to the deceased’.

Liability was extended to include NHS trusts under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007. The prosecution must show a gross breach of duty in terms of management or organisation that ’caused or contributed to the death’.

A prosecution is normally brought through courts in the same way as all criminal cases but with the accused body represented through a barrister instead of an individual sitting in the dock. If found guilty – or having pleaded guilty – punishment is by way of a fine that can be unlimited but is normally graded against the organisation’s ability to pay.


‘We had to keep insisting the police be involved.’

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) previously said it wanted to pursue a retrial on one of Letby’s outstanding charges – that she attempted to murder a baby girl, known as Child K, in February 2016.

A provisional trial date of June 10 2024 at the same court has been fixed.

The jury of seven women and four men in Letby’s 10-month trial could not reach verdicts on claims she attempted to murder three baby girls, Child H, Child J and Child K.

Verdicts were also not reached on two counts of attempted murder against Child N, a baby boy, and an allegation she tried to murder another male infant, Child Q.

Letby was found guilty of one count of attempted murder against Child N.

The defendant, from Hereford, denied all the offences and formally lodged an appeal against her convictions at the Court of Appeal last month.

A court order prohibits reporting of the identities of the surviving and dead children who were the subject of the allegations.

A father of twin babies who Letby tried to kill said he hoped there would be ‘no hiding place’ if any criminal wrongdoing is found to have taken place by hospital management.

Meanwhile, a lawyer representing families of babies killed or harmed by Letby called the announcement ‘significant news’.

Hospital bosses had as many as ten opportunities to act on concerns that Letby was linked to a spike in deaths or collapses 

Tamlin Bolton, specialist medical negligence solicitor at Switalskis, representing the families of seven babies, said: ‘We are reassured that some steps are now being taken to consider the actions of management from a criminal perspective.

‘This is significant news today. The families we represent have continued to request that Senior Management at the Countess of Chester Hospital be investigated and/or be part of investigations moving forward.

‘It will be for the Crown Prosecution Service and the police to determine now if the conduct of the senior management at the Countess of Chester Hospital fell so far below what could reasonably have been expected of them, that their actions caused or contributed to the deaths of children.

‘Whist the news is welcomed, this announcement brings with it fresh anguish for the families as they wait for the conclusion of these further criminal investigations.’

The father of twin babies of which Letby was found guilty of attempting to kill, said: ‘We welcome the news of corporate manslaughter (proceedings) against COCH. There must be something in it for police to investigate hopefully now there will be no hiding place for the senior management of that trust.’

Tony Chambers, former chief executive of the Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: ‘I am truly sorry for what all the families have gone through, and I intend to co-operate fully and openly with the police investigation.

‘I am deeply saddened by what has come to light during this trial and the crimes that have been committed are appalling and my thoughts are with the children at the heart of this case and their families and loved ones.’

Jane Tomkinson, acting chief executive at the hospital trust, said: ‘We will be cooperating fully with the investigation announced today so that we can help get the answers that the families and babies affected by this case rightly deserve. It would not be appropriate for the trust to make any further comment.’

The police investigation comes after a public inquiry into how Letby was able to commit her crimes was ordered by Health Secretary Steve Barclay. It will be led by Court of Appeal judge, Lady Justice Kathryn Thirlwall.

Letby faces the prospect of a retrial over a charge of attempting to murder a newborn girl, Baby K, in February 2016. Jurors in the original trial could not reach a verdict.

No further action is being taken on five other counts of attempted murder that jurors could also not reach a verdict on.

Letby has launched an appeal against her convictions.

Content source – www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com

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