Lucy Letby found caring for less poor babies ‘boring’, lawsuit says

Nurse Lucy Letby found caring for less sick babies in hospital “boring”, her murder trial has heard.

Ms Letby is accused of murdering seven babies and attempting to murder 10 others in the neonatal unit at the Countess of Chester Hospital.

The 33-year-old denies 22 charges at Manchester Crown Court.

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She is also said to have argued with a senior colleague when she was asked to work at an “outside nursery” where babies were treated before going home.

The unit was divided into four wards: intensive care in nursery one, high dependency care in nursery two and the “outer nurseries” of wards three and four, the court heard.

On Tuesday, lead nurse Kathryn Percival-Calderbank told jurors that Ms Letby was “unhappy” if she was assigned shifts in ward three or four.

She said: “She expressed that she was not happy that she was put in the outside crèches.

“He said it was boring and he didn’t want to feed the babies. He wanted to be in intensive care ”.

Ms Percival-Calderbank, who graduated as a nurse in 1988, added: “If something happened inside nursery one, I would find that I would migrate there, as we would all go and help. I would definitely end up at daycare one to help out.

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“It was more that we were concerned about Lucy’s mental health because it can be upsetting, emotional and sometimes also exhausting at the end of a shift, if you’re constantly in that stressful situation all the time.

“Sometimes you have to get out of that environment and be in an outdoor nursery.”

She recalled a discussion, sometime before June 2016, with Ms Letby, who was “upset” about being assigned a shift.

“Lucy went to the outside nursery but was not happy with the decision,” she said.

Ben Myers KC, defending, asked the witness: “Is it correct that she made it clear that she preferred to work in the intensive care aspect of operations?”

“Yes,” replied Mrs. Percival-Calderbank.

Myers said, “Did he use the word ‘boring’?”

The witness said, “Yes, that’s what she said.”

Mr Myers said: “There were times when she ended up in nursery one and everyone was ready to help when there was a problem, right?”

“Yes,” said the witness.

Ms Percival-Calderbank agreed with Mr Myers that Ms Letby would be “particularly willing to help” and “would be there very quickly if a problem arose”.

She also agreed with concerns among nursing staff that it could be “very stressful and upsetting” to work long periods in intensive care and that spending time outside of the nursery was beneficial for mental well-being.

Mr Myers said: “But she really didn’t want to hear that and she wanted to be in intensive care, is that right?”

“Yes,” said the witness.

Ms Letby, originally from Hereford, denies all alleged crimes that are said to have been committed between June 2015 and June 2016.

The trial continues.

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