Families of Lucy Letby’s victims vow to continue the search for answers

The families of the babies murdered by Lucy Letby have vowed to continue their search for answers as pressure mounts on the hospital as she ponders what else could have been done to stop her killing spree.

The 33-year-old “rogue” nurse was convicted of murdering seven babies and attempting to murder six others during her shifts in the Countess of Chester Hospital’s neonatal unit for over a year in 2015 and 2016.

The families of their victims said they were “heartbroken, devastated, angry and calloused” by their actions.

Following their sentencing at Manchester Crown Court on Friday, two of the young children’s family members said through a solicitor that “this is not the end of our search for answers”.

Yvonne Agnew, Head of Clinical Negligence at Slater and Gordon in Cardiff, said: “While this trial comes to an end today, this is not the end of our search for answers and our fight for justice for our clients.”

“We are determined that the Countess of Chester Hospital, the NHS and the medical profession as a whole learn from this so that babies and parents are never again put at risk.”

Police said they were looking into the care of 4,000 babies admitted to the Countess of Chester – and also to Liverpool Women’s Hospital when Letby did two internships – since 2012.

Chester hospital was under investigation when it called the police and whether more could have been done to stop Letby.

The Department of Health has announced a non-statutory independent inquiry into the handling of the case and the Health Ombudsman has also said the NHS needs to improve its working culture when staff are issuing “warnings of real evil”.

The BBC reported that the neonatal unit where she worked had 13 deaths over a year, five times the usual rate, and the nurse was on duty for all of them.

It could have been stopped as early as June 2015 when executives held a meeting at which it was agreed that an outside inquiry into the deaths would take place, but that never happened, the channel said.

In October of that year, after seven babies died, a link was made between all of the fatal meltdowns and Lucy Letby, who prosecutors described as having a “constant malevolent presence” in caring for the infants.

Despite this, the connection was believed to be accidental.

dr Susan Gilby, who took over as medical director at the hospital a month after Letby’s arrest, told the BBC: “The paediatricians were talking about the horrible nights of on-call time they’ve had and one of them said, ‘Every time something like this happens to them. ‘ I know I’m being called to these catastrophic events that were unexpected and unexplainable, Lucy Letby is there, and then someone else said, ‘Yes, I found that,’ and then someone else had the same reaction.”

The pediatrician Dr. Stephen Brearey, who betrayed Letby in 2015, told The Guardian the hospital was “careless” in its handling of the killings.

Advisers wanted to go to the police but officers were not called and in September 2016 the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health was called to conduct a review of the unit, the BBC said.

She asked the foundation to investigate each death individually, but reportedly didn’t do so.

The murderous nurse launched a complaints procedure against the paediatricians, who found that she had been “discriminated against and harassed” and they were forced to write her a letter of apology.

She was released from the neonatal unit later that month after two triplets died.

She was still working at the foundation when she was arrested at 6am on 3 July 2018 at her semi-detached house in Westbourne Road, Chester.

A search of her address uncovered numerous handwritten notes.

On a green Post-it, she wrote: “I don’t deserve to live. I killed her on purpose because I’m not good enough to take care of her”, “I’m a terribly bad person” and in capital letters “I’m bad, I did that”.

Speaking to the BBC, Dr. Gilby at the time: “The strong opinion was that nothing would be found.

“There was a brief overlap of three or four days between me and the outgoing medical director, and his parting words to me were, ‘You need to refer the pediatricians to the General Medical Council.'”

The then chief executive of the Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Tony Chambers, said he would cooperate “fully and openly” with the inquiry.

dr Nigel Scawn, medical director at the Countess of Chester Hospital, said in a statement on Friday: “Since Lucy Letby has been working at our hospital we have made significant changes to our services and I want reassurance for every patient who has access to our services give.” Services where they can have confidence in the care they will receive.”

But he walked away without answering when a journalist asked: “Why were hospital managers trying to prevent investigations into Lucy Letby?”

Letby will be sentenced on Monday.

She has already indicated through her lawyers that she does not wish to attend the sentencing hearing or deal with the victims’ families, who have made heartbreaking testimonies about the impact of their actions on them.

Letby was acquitted of two counts of attempted murder and juries failed to reach a verdict on six counts of attempted murder.

Prosecutors have said they may request a retrial in cases where the jury was unable to reach a verdict and have 28 days to announce their intention to do so.

Russell Falcon

Russell Falcon is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Russell Falcon joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing russellfalcon@ustimespost.com.

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