Newspaper that inspires change. Breaking stories that shake the world. Be informed, Don't Settle for Fake News.

feat shape 1
feat shape 2
feat shape 3

Lucy Letby: Hospital bosses urged for corporate manslaughter probe

A retired consultant paediatrician is calling for an investigation into the "grossly negligent" bosses at the Countess of Chester Hospital who failed to act on concerns about nurse Lucy Letby, who was recently convicted of murdering seven babies. Consultants had raised concerns as early as 2015, but hospital management did not involve the police until 2017. The former chair of the hospital trust has claimed that the board was "misled" by executives, while another former chief executive has called for a full public inquiry.

In a shocking turn of events, retired consultant paediatrician Dewi Evans is calling on Cheshire Constabulary to investigate the "grossly negligent" bosses who failed to act on concerns about nurse Lucy Letby while she was on a killing spree at the Countess of Chester Hospital. The Observer reported that bosses at the hospital blamed other NHS services for the unexplained deaths and claimed in a 2016 review that there was "no evidence whatsoever against [Letby] other than coincidence".

Letby, 33, was recently convicted of the murder of seven babies and the attempted murder of six more during her shifts on the neonatal unit between 2015 and 2016. Consultants who had raised concerns about Letby as early as 2015 have stated that lives could have been saved if hospital management had taken their concerns seriously. Dr Stephen Brearey, the head consultant of the neonatal unit, first raised Letby's association with an increase in baby collapses in June 2015. He believes that deaths could have been prevented as early as February 2016 if hospital executives had responded appropriately to urgent meeting requests from concerned doctors.

It wasn't until 2017 that the police were finally contacted. Dr Ravi Jayaram, another consultant, continued to express concerns as more sudden and unexpected collapses occurred. Both consultants have spoken out about the hospital executives' reluctance to involve the police due to fears of damaging the trust's reputation.

Dr Evans, who was tasked by Cheshire Police to investigate the collapses on the neonatal unit, believes that if the bosses had acted with greater urgency, three murders could have been prevented. He plans to write to the police and request an investigation into a number of managerial individuals for potential corporate manslaughter. Dr Evans argues that the hospital should also be investigated for criminal negligence. He describes their failure to act as grossly irresponsible, emphasizing the seriousness of the situation.

In addition to these revelations, Sir Duncan Nichol, the former chair of the Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, has claimed that the board was misled by hospital executives. Despite concerns, the board was informed that there was "no criminal activity pointing to any one individual". It wasn't until July 2016 that the board became aware of the rise in incidents on the neonatal unit and agreed to an external investigation into the deaths. Sir Duncan believes that the board was misled when they received a report on the outcome of the independent case reviews in December 2016.

Dr Susan Gilby, another former chief executive of the trust, agrees that a full public inquiry is necessary. She believes that the board may have been misled and expresses her concerns about the handling of the Letby allegations. It is worth noting that an independent inquiry into Letby's crimes has been announced by the Government, but Slater and Gordon, representing two of the families involved, argue that a non-statutory inquiry is insufficient and that it needs to have a statutory basis for real accountability.

The trust's handling of the Letby allegations has been under scrutiny, and it has been revealed that a consultancy firm was commissioned in 2019 to investigate the matter. However, the findings of this investigation have not yet been published. As a result, there are calls for a more thorough investigation into the trust's actions.

The police are currently reviewing the care of 4,000 babies who were admitted to the Countess of Chester Hospital, as well as Liverpool Women's Hospital where Letby had work placements, dating back to 2012. Letby is set to be sentenced on Monday, but she has indicated that she will not participate in the hearing at Manchester Crown Court.

Dr Nigel Scawn, the medical director at the Countess of Chester Hospital, has assured patients that significant changes have been made to their services since Letby's employment, and patients can have confidence in the care they will receive. However, the revelations surrounding the hospital's handling of the situation have raised serious concerns about the safety and well-being of patients under their care.

Share With Others

Comments on Lucy Letby: Hospital bosses urged for corporate manslaughter probe