...By Gift BADEWO for TDPel Media.
Nurse Denies Paediatrician’s Testimony of Neglecting Baby in Murder Trial
Lucy Letby, a neonatal nurse currently on trial for murder, has refuted claims made by paediatrician Dr Ravi Jayaram that he witnessed her standing idly beside a baby’s incubator as the infant fought for her life.
Dr Jayaram had testified that he felt compelled to check on Baby K’s well-being due to concerns about Letby’s presence, as several unexplained collapses coincided with her shifts.
However, Letby vehemently denied the allegations, asserting that she had no recollection of the events described by the paediatrician.
During cross-examination, Letby rejected Dr Jayaram’s account of finding her standing near Baby K’s incubator.
She claimed to have no recollection of any interaction with him on that particular night and denied interfering with the baby’s endotracheal breathing tube or tampering with alarms.
Letby firmly denied being in the nursery at the time Dr Jayaram described and disputed any conversation or encounter with him.
Denials to Detectives
Letby informed her defense counsel, Ben Myers KC, that she had given consistent denials to detectives during their interviews regarding Dr Jayaram’s allegations.
Although officers informed her of the accusations against her, she maintained that she was not present near the incubator as claimed by Dr Jayaram.
Staffing Concerns on the Neonatal Unit
Letby addressed the issue of staffing levels on the neonatal unit, expressing her concerns about the inadequate number of nurses compared to the volume of babies being admitted.
She cited instances where nursery nurses were assigned tasks that should have been handled by more qualified personnel.
In a WhatsApp message to her best friend, a fellow nurse, Letby highlighted the responsibility placed on nursery nurses, even in areas where they lacked training and experience.
She attributed these circumstances to the high workload and the unit’s busyness during those times.
Messages regarding Workload and Staffing Issues
Letby shared messages with her friend about missed calls from the unit while she was attending a salsa session, revealing instances where colleagues sought her assistance because they lacked knowledge in certain procedures.
The situation, as described by Letby, indicated a stretched and overwhelmed unit.
She mentioned the presence of Dr Jayaram and expressed concern about the increasing difficulties faced by the staff, potentially necessitating the transfer of babies to other hospitals.
Letby’s Workload and Desires
Regarding her shift as the designated nurse for Baby J, Letby stated that there were no issues with her care of the infant.
She messaged a colleague expressing that the unit’s situation had improved, suggesting a more manageable workload.
When asked if she desired a lighter workload, Letby affirmed that she did indeed prefer it.