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Inquiry into serial killer criticises hospital's response

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: (Published 19 February 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:491
  1. C Dyer

    Vital clues that could have pointed to nurse Beverly Allitt being a serial killer were missed during the 58 days she worked on the children's ward at Grantham and Kesteven Hospital in Lincolnshire, according to the report of the independent inquiry into the tragedy. The inquiry, chaired by Sir Cecil Clothier, criticises the hospital's two consultant paediatricians, the ward sister, the clinical services manager, and other middle managers. It paints a picture of a hospital “on the edge of viability,” operating on a shoestring budget. Sir Cecil, however, dismissed staff shortages as “a tangential issue.”

    * Clothier said that steps taken after children's deaths were feeble

    (Fig Omitted)

    Allitt, aged 35, is in Rampton Special Hospital after being given 13 life sentences last May for murdering four children and attacking nine others while working as an enrolled nurse on ward 4 between February and April 1991.

    The report criticises the hospital's “sloppy” appointments procedures in recruiting Allitt but doubts that she would have been detected as unsuitable at …

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