We have been urging healthcare providers to introduce lie detector tests into their pre-employment screenings for years. One recent story in the news suggests this should be a mandatory requirement. Our polygraph examiners in Northern Ireland already provide private polygraph tests in the healthcare industry to help prevent incidents like the following from occurring.

Children’s nurse Lucy Letby

Lucy Letby was first arrested following an unusual number of unexplained deaths occurring in the neonatal unit of Countess of Chester Hospital.  Recent events have shown the need for lie detector tests within the care industry following her re-arrest.

Letby was under police investigation in May 2017, which initially was regarding 15 baby deaths at the hospital between the period June 2015 and June 2016. The investigation has now been extended and they are now looking into 17 baby deaths and the non-fatal collapses of 16 children for the period March 2015 to July 2016.

The children’s nurse was interviewed in 2013 by a local paper, the Chester and District Standard in which she confirmed her main role was to look after babies who may need additional and varying levels of support. As a student nurse, she had worked in the hospital completing her 3 years of training from 2008, later fully qualifying as a children’s nurse in 2011. She continued to work at the Countess of Chester hospital after she graduated.

Awaiting updates

Cheshire police confirmed on Monday that a female healthcare professional  was in custody and aiding them with their inquiries. Paul Hughes, the Detective Inspector of Cheshire Police said this was an “extremely challenging case” in which all of the baby’s parents were being fully informed of any developments.

Following the original case, Letby has been re-arrested for the attempted murder of a further 3 babies. Paul Hughes reassured the public that they were working tirelessly for an answer into the events leading to the deaths and collapses of these vulnerable children. At the moment the police are unable to provide further updates into the case but they have advised they will update as soon as possible.

Pre-employment screening with lie detector tests

If a lie detector test had been carried out as part of Lucy Letby’ s pre-employment screening it would have shown her intentions and potentially saved a number of children’s lives. Sadly this wasn’t the case. Now the scenario is that she is accused for murdering the children which she may or may not have done.

The police have the ability to initiate lie detector tests as they have polygraph examiners in Northern Ireland and in the wider UK at their disposal.  Stories like these hit the headlines frequently whether in the private or public healthcare sector.  In our view it’s vital for care providers introduce polygraph tests to avoid any future pain and suffering for the most vulnerable, be that for the mentally impaired, elderly or infants.

Polygraph examiners in Northern Ireland

There is the possibility that Lucy Letby is innocent.  A polygraph examination would reveal whether or not deception was present.  Since almost every national newspaper has covered this story, we wonder how fair her trial will be.  If she is innocent, the police should focus their attention elsewhere.  Lie detector test results often lead investigations into areas that the police haven’t thought about.

Either way, the polygraph is the most reliable instrument available to focus attention where it belongs.

We invite our readers to comment.

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