The grieving families of Lucy Letby’s victims have called on the government to order a full, independent public inquiry into how the nurse was able to go on an extended rampage in a neonatal unit.
The families join senior doctors and MPs in calling for the probe to be widened, fearing it lacks the powers to uncover potential evidence of a cover-up at the Countess of Chester Hospital and prevent a similar horror from ever happening again NHS could happen again.
Health Secretary Steve Barclay on Friday announced an independent inquiry after Letby was found guilty of the murder of seven babies and the attempted murder of six others at the hospital where she worked between June 2015 and June 2016.
But he balked at launching an investigation with legal authority, meaning witnesses are not legally required to attend, raising concerns hospital managers might not be held accountable for putting reputation over child safety .
Lawyers representing the families of two Letby victims fear it could mean they never truly get justice, calling the current plan “inadequate”.
In a joint statement, Slater and Gordon’s Richard Scorer and Yvonne Agnew said: “Because this is a non-statutory investigation, it has no authority to compel witnesses to produce evidence or produce documents and must rely on the good.” leave the will of those involved.” to pass on her testimony. That’s not good enough. The shortcomings here are very serious and an examination must have a legal basis in order to have real teeth.
“An inquiry must also be made into why the NHS’s ‘duty of honesty’ appears to have failed in this case, as hospital managers appear to prioritize the hospital’s reputation over child safety.
“We do not believe that the ‘duty to be open’ is an adequate substitute for a proper mandatory reporting system and any inquiry must properly examine this issue as this could replicate failures elsewhere in the NHS.”
Senior doctors who worked with Letby warned for months that she was the only paramedic present during the sudden accident Collapses and deaths of numerous premature babies in hospital in North West England.
However, her concerns were ignored and a counselor who helped expose Letby said babies could have been saved if hospital management had acted sooner. The head doctor, Ravi Jayaram, claimed he was persuaded not to contact the police because it would damage the hospital’s reputation.
dr Jayaram, one of the doctors whose evidence contributed to Letby’s conviction, called for a shift in “fundamental changes in the culture and governance of NHS bodies and it should start now”.
He urged the executives involved in the case, who are “still making six-figure tax dollars or retiring on their gilded pensions,” to “stand up in public and explain why they didn’t want to listen and do the right thing.” to acknowledge that their actions may have facilitated a mass murder and to apologize to the families involved in all of this.”
The Countess of Chester Hospital is increasingly wondering why Letby was not removed from the neonatal unit sooner. Concerns for her were first raised in June 2015 after three babies died within a two-week period. It was at this point that Letby’s name was first mentioned by a group of advisers including Dr. Jayaram.
Despite this, she continued to work in the unit for another 12 months until she was transferred to clerical duty in July 2016 – after murdering seven newborns and attempting to kill six others. The court heard that once in February 2016, a doctor entered the room while she was suspected of trying to kill a premature baby.
Conservative MP Dr. Caroline Johnson said it was “completely unacceptable” that hospital management did not immediately respond to concerns raised by advisers.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today program on Saturday, the consultant paediatrician and member of the House of Commons Health Committee said: “In my opinion, as has been reported, it is totally unacceptable.”
“Ignoring one advisor when the other six disagreed might seem wrong, but you might understand. But when you have seven paediatricians, experts in their field, attending to babies in a neonatal unit, you tell it.” She, in her expert opinion, that these events are unusual and shouldn’t happen, and that in babies there are unexpected, unexplained ones comes crashes leading to death, then to say you will do nothing strikes me as utterly remarkable.”
dr Johnson said the advisers who raised concerns were “powerless to do more” because they had no “jurisdiction over the nursing hierarchy.”
The Sleaford and North Hykeham MP said there needed to be “clear lines of accountability in the NHS” to set out “who is responsible for what decisions”.
The doctor who captured Lucy Letby describes how she stood over the sick baby
She added that she supports the government’s decision to announce an independent review, but warned that ministers would have to “reconsider the nature of the investigation” if hospital staff “failed to come forward”.
Samantha Dixon, Labor MP for Chester, also raised concerns about an unsolicited inquiry.
“I have some concerns about the risks of a non-statutory inquiry as people are not required to be present and testify,” she told BBC Breakfast.
The families of Letby’s victims said they were “heartbroken, devastated, angry and calloused” by their actions. However, it is expected they will not see her at her sentencing hearing on Monday after the serial killer refused to appear in court and they will not attend the hearing via video feed from prison.
Lawyers representing some families have promised to continue their search for answers.
dr Bill Kirkup, a leading patient safety investigator, said the Letby case highlighted the “tragic” consequences when hospital managers “protected reputations” instead of listening to staff concerns. He said there were “common points” between the Letby case and the investigations he conducted into poor care in other hospitals’ maternity wards.
“The first reaction of people in these circumstances, in the management and control of organizations, is to protect reputation – the reputation of the organisation, their own reputation,” he tragically told BBC Breakfast. We have to be able to stop that.”
The BBC reported that the neonatal unit where Letby worked for a year had 13 deaths, five times the usual rate, and the nurse was on duty for all of them.
Lucy Letby’s childhood friend claims killing is ‘not in her nature’
In October of that year, after seven babies died, a link was made between all of the fatal meltdowns and Letby, whom prosecutors described as a “permanent malicious presence” in the infants’ care. Despite this, the connection was believed to be accidental.
dr Susan Gilby, who took over as the hospital’s medical director 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 answer.”
The pediatrician Dr. Stephen Brearey, who ratted on Letby in 2015, recounted it The guard The hospital had been “careless” in dealing with the murders.
Tony Chambers, the former chief executive of the hospital who was in charge at the time of the Letby murders, said he would cooperate “fully and openly” with the investigation.
dr Nigel Scawn, the hospital’s medical director, 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 would like to reassure any patient who is able to use our services that this is the case.” 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?”
The Department of Health and Social Care said the independent inquiry would look into the circumstances of the deaths and incidents, including how concerns raised by doctors were addressed.
But it said that “after careful consideration, a non-statutory independent investigation was found to be the most appropriate option” and would instead “focus on lessons that can be learned quickly”.
Health Secretary Barclay said the inquiry will “ensure affected parents and families get the answers they need”.