NHS bosses who 'ignored' Lucy Letby crimes appointed to whistleblowing roles

25 August 2023, 21:59 | Updated: 25 August 2023, 22:10

Chief nurse Alison Kelly and medical director Ian Harvey are alleged to have failed to listen to complaints about Lucy Letby as she embarked on a killing spree of infants at Countess of Chester Hospital between 2015 and 2016.
Chief nurse Alison Kelly and medical director Ian Harvey are alleged to have failed to listen to complaints about Lucy Letby as she embarked on a killing spree of infants at Countess of Chester Hospital between 2015 and 2016. Picture: Getty

By Chay Quinn

NHS bosses who were accused of ignoring warnings about killer nurse Lucy Letby have been handed whistleblower investigation roles.

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Chief nurse Alison Kelly and medical director Ian Harvey are alleged to have failed to listen to complaints about Lucy Letby as she embarked on a killing spree of infants at Countess of Chester Hospital between 2015 and 2016.

A doctor who raised the alarm about Letby's foul crimes was allegedly made to attend mediation and apologise to the murderous nurse by execs including the pair.

Read More: 'She was so nice': Couple who wanted Lucy Letby to be their baby's godmother now think she tried to kill him

Kelly and Harvey were made Freedom to Speak Up Guardians at their NHS trust - roles meant to strengthen whistleblower protections - even after doctors were discouraged from telling the police about Letby, The Independent reports.

Bosses reportedly turned a blind eye to Letby's crimes when concerns were raised by colleagues in the Countess of Chester Hospital
Bosses reportedly turned a blind eye to Letby's crimes when concerns were raised by colleagues in the Countess of Chester Hospital. Picture: Getty

Dr Ravi Jayaram, who said hospital managers dismissed his concerns about Letby, told The Independent: “It seems like some kind of sick joke that those four members of the executive board were appointed as freedom to speak up guardians at exactly the same time that they were doing their best to bully us into silence and bring Letby back to work.

“This reinforces the fact that whistleblowing processes in the NHS are not fit for purpose and need urgent reform also the need for there to be a robust system of regulation for senior NHS managers.”

Letby, Britain’s most prolific child killer, will die in prison after being sentenced to 14 whole life orders.

She killed nine babies and attempted to kill eight more.

Dawn, who grew up with Letby in Hereford, told the BBC: “Unless Lucy turned around and said 'I'm guilty', I will never believe that she's guilty."

The pair were appointed to be whistleblowing champions at the hospital where Lucy Letby murdered nine babies
The pair were appointed to be whistleblowing champions at the hospital where Lucy Letby murdered nine babies. Picture: Getty

Appearing to speak for a wider group, she said Letby's other friends also stand by her, adding: “We know she couldn't have done anything that she's accused of, so without a doubt, we stand by her.

"I grew up with Lucy and not a single thing that I've ever seen or witnessed of Lucy would let me for a moment believe she is capable of the thing's she's accused of."

"It is the most out-of-character accusation that you could ever put against Lucy. Think of your most kind gentle soft friend and think that they're being accused of harming babies.”

Her comments come as the fallout from Letby’s crimes continues - with growing calls for better accountability for NHS managers.

Concerns about the serial killer were not addressed for months before she was finally taken off frontline duties.

Senior doctors at the Countess of Chester Hospital, where the 33-year-old carried out her year-long killing spree on the neonatal unit, have said that hospital bosses should be regulated in a similar way to doctors and nurses.

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