Lucy letby

Letters: The Lucy Letby killings shouldn’t mean we lose trust in all NHS managers

Murder mystery Sir: I once made a diagnosis of a very rare condition too late to cure the patient. She was nevertheless grateful and thanked me, though my conceit evaporated when she asked: ‘What took you so long?’ I suspect the managers at the Countess of Chester Hospital must feel as I did (‘Hospital pass’, 26 August). Murder was not on the top of their differential diagnoses. Many senior clinicians who have had leadership roles in NHS hospitals bear the scars of conflicts with management, though perhaps not as deep as those of the Chester paediatricians.  We would nevertheless acknowledge that most managers are dedicated, conscientious professionals committed to the

Don’t cancel Queen

Another week, another whitewash. The latest chunk of culture to be painted out of existence is ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’, Queen’s 1978 hit. Don’t misunderstand me. I’ve never liked the song. I think it’s crude, patronising and misogynistic. It was pretty dated even on the day Queen recorded it. But that’s my problem. Millions loved it. That’s why it was track four on the band’s 1981 Greatest Hits album. But as Universal Records re-release Queen’s classic collection, FBG is track nothing. Track gone. Track ghosted. We’ve got to stop doing this neopuritanical cultural censorship, whether it be with songs, books (Enid Blyton’s PC-filtered Famous Five or P.G. Wodehouse’s Jeeves), fairy stories

Are whole life orders becoming more common?

Bank on it Does the August bank holiday actually celebrate anything? – When bank holidays were first established in 1871, the August bank holiday fell at the beginning of the month, allegedly because it was an important week for cricket in Yorkshire, the home county of MP Sir John Lubbock, who introduced the parliamentary act creating bank holidays. – It was moved to the Monday after the last Saturday in August as an experiment in 1965, largely because early August coincided with the annual factory closure, and many workers were on holiday then anyway. – In 1968 and 1969 the holiday fell in September, so in 1971 it was fixed

Isabel Hardman

Why can’t NHS managers spot a serial killer?

No one who has paid any attention to NHS scandals over the past few decades should be at all surprised by the way in which managers at Lucy Letby’s hospital repeatedly dismissed concerns about her. When worried consultants produced considerable evidence to show that the nurse was present at every single event where a baby had dramatically collapsed or suddenly died, they ended up being the ones in the firing line. Management even forced them to apologise to Letby personally at an HR meeting, to which, bizarrely, the nurse brought along her parents. Doctors are suspicious of the calibre of those managing them, and the managers are often on the

Will the NHS learn from Letby’s murders?

Will the fallout from the Lucy Letby case really lead to lasting change in the NHS? The most prolific killer of babies was able to continue even as doctors raised concerns about her – to the extent that the consultants themselves were forced to apologise to her face for a ‘campaign’ of bullying, rather than their concerns being taken seriously about her presence at the deaths or collapse of all the babies at the Countess of Chester hospital. Now, doctors’ union the British Medical Association has turned on NHS managers, saying the time has come for a reckoning for the ‘unaccountable’ bosses. NHS managers are often unfairly maligned: politicians like