A neonatal nurse at Countess of Chester Hospital, first arrested in June of 2018, has been rearrested and is now facing additional charges.
June 10, 2019, Lucy Letby, 29 was rearrested for the original charges as well as three additional charges of attempted murder as a part of an ongoing investigation into 17 infant deaths occurring in the Chester Hospital between March 2015 and July 2016.
“In July 2018 a healthcare professional was arrested on suspicion of murder in relation to the deaths of 8 babies and the attempted murder of 6 babies at the neonatal unit at The Countess of Chester Hospital.
“She was subsequently bailed pending further enquiries.
“As part of our ongoing investigation we have today re-arrested the healthcare professional on suspicion of murder in relation to the deaths of 8 babies and the attempted murder of 6 babies.
“She has also been arrested in connection with the attempted murder of three additional babies.
“The woman is currently in custody helping officers with their enquiries.”Detective Inspector Paul Hughes, in charge of the investigation
This case came to light initially after the Hospital Trust raised an alarm itself. They conducted an internal investigation after noting the high number of fatalities during the period in question.
Within the neonatal unit, they were perplexed by premature babies that would suddenly collapse with heart and lung failure, but then were “unusually impossible” to resuscitate. After death, one of the investigators noticed that the babies would develop strange blotches on their arms and legs. So in 2017, the investigation was turned over to the Police.
As a part of the Police investigation, they are also looking into an additional 16 non-fatal collapses during the same window of time. This represents the first major inquiry into children’s deaths at a UK hospital in nearly 30 years.
Letby had worked at the hospital for seven years, beginning with her time a student nurse. When she was initially arrested last July, she was in the midst of training to work with infants in intensive care. According the The Guardian, she had been suspended a year before, and prior to that, her duties had been restricted to administrative in nature.
Detective Inspector Paul Hughes states that the parents are all being kept fully updated on the case and that he realizes how challenging this matter is. He said, “at the heart of this, there are a number of bereaved families seeking answers as to what happened to their children.”