Neonatal nurse Lucy Letby claimed today that she has no recollection of a pediatrician walking into a nursery and finding her next to a baby’s incubator and “doing nothing” as the baby lay fighting for her life.
Dr. Earlier in Letby’s murder trial in Manchester, Ravi Jayaram has told how he felt an “irrational” compulsion to go and see if Baby K was safe while Letby was briefly “babysitting” her for a colleague.
By this time, he and some of his colleagues at the Countess of Chester Hospital had become aware of a series of unexplained collapses on the unit and the fact that they coincided with Letby’s presence.
Dr. Jayaram recalled that when he entered Nursery 1 in the early hours of February 17, 2016, he saw Letby standing next to the incubator, but without her hands in it, as he had expected.
“I saw her and looked at the monitor, and the sats dropped on the monitor. The fan was not alarming and the monitor was not alarming.
Letby denied killing five boys and two girls and trying to kill 10 other babies at trial
The neonatal nurse is currently testifying at her trial and has denied all allegations
“I remember saying, ‘What’s happening?’ Lucy looked at me and said something like “She’s desaturated.”
Today, 33-year-old Letby rejected Dr Jayaram’s story, insisting there had never been a time when he had come in to see her standing close to Baby K.
She could not recall any conversation with him that night, and she rejected the prosecution’s claim that she had disrupted the child’s endotracheal breathing tube.
Likewise, she hadn’t turned off the baby’s alarm, nor turned off the sound.
At one point Ben Myers asked KC, defensively, “Was there a time when you were in the nursery and Ravi Jayaram came in to see you standing there close to (Baby) K?”
Letby replied, “No.”
Mr. Myers then asked if the pediatrician had said something to her like “What’s going on here?”
“No,” said Letby. “I don’t remember any conversation with Dr. Jayaram that night.”
Her lawyer asked if she accepted that she had even been to the nursery. Again she answered no.
Letby told Mr Myers that she had given detectives similar denials when they questioned her about Dr Jayaram’s allegations.
She recalled officers telling her she would have been standing next to the incubator, but denied it was true. When asked if she agreed that things had happened ‘as Dr Jayaram says’, she replied ‘No’.
Letby is charged with murdering five boys and two girls and trying to kill 10 others at Countess of Chester Hospital from June 2015 to June 2016.
She denies all allegations against her.
Earlier, Letby complained about staffing levels in the neonatal ward, saying there were sometimes too few nurses to handle the number of babies being admitted.
On some shifts band 4 child carers were asked to do tasks that should have been done by more qualified colleagues.
Lucy Letby, 33, (pictured) originally from Hereford, is accused of committing a series of murders between June 2015 and 2016. She denies all charges against her
The court was shown a WhatsApp message she had sent to her best friend – a fellow nurse on the ward – in which she referred to pediatric nurses performing Baby J.
She wrote on Nov 19, 2015, ‘It’s really shocking that they are willing to take responsibility for things they have no training or experience etc for. Don’t think they appreciate the possible difficulties x’.
When asked by Mr Myers why the Band 4 nurses would have taken on that responsibility, she said they would have been given the job by the shift manager. She added, “It was so busy in the department at the time.”
On November 25, she texted the same nurse that she had missed three calls from the department during a salsa session.
It turned out that colleagues on the night shift did not know how to administer immunoglobulin and had called her because “I was the last to give.”
A squad leader had described the situation as ‘crazy’, and Letby went on to say that Dr Jayaram was there. “What a nightmare it’s all becoming,” she wrote, suggesting the ward was so tense that the medics might have to send some of their babies to other hospitals.
Letby was the designated nurse for baby J on the November 27-28 night shift. There had been no problems with her care for the baby and she had texted a colleague to say that the situation on the ward was “much better.”
This meant the workload was more manageable, she told Mr. Myers.
He then asked if she wanted a “nicer, lighter” workload.
“Yes,” she replied.
The process continues. Letby denies all charges.