After Nurse’s Murder Conviction: A Reckoning

Source: Joyce P. Williams, DNP, FNS Section Chair

The sentencing of Lucy Letby, the British nurse convicted of murdering seven newborns in a neonatal unit between 2015 and 2016, is just the beginning of the public reckoning with the crime, as officials now turn to examine systemic failures by the health system.

Letby was convicted last week of the "persistent, calculated, and cold-blooded" murder of premature infants at a hospital in Cheshire, making her the "worst child serial killer in modern British history," reports The Guardian. She was sentenced to life in prison.

Physicians and bereaved parents are demanding further investigation into the hospital's culture and leadership, which allowed Letby to continue working there for months after doctors first raised alarms, and which allowed the pattern of deaths to go undetected for so long.

United Kingdom ministers have launched an independent inquiry into the events surrounding Letby's killings, including the hospital's months-long delays in suspending Letby or calling the police.

Meanwhile, the pediatrician who was the long-ignored whistleblower on Letby is now calling for hospital managers to be subject to more oversight by the National Health Service. "There doesn't seem to be any system to make them accountable, and for them to justify their actions in a systematic way," Stephen Brearey told the BBC.

Hospital bosses ignored months of doctors' warnings about Lucy Letby. Read more.


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