The Government has announced its consideration of a full judicial inquiry to investigate the crimes committed by nurse Lucy Letby.
Dr. Stephen Brearey, a consultant who initially raised concerns about Letby’s actions, has called for action against hospital bureaucrats and emphasized the need for NHS managers to be held to the same regulatory standards as clinicians.
Dr. Brearey also supported the idea of a judge-led statutory inquiry.
Dr. Brearey expressed his concerns about hospital directors’ response to his warnings, stating that they victimized doctors and prioritized reputational damage.
He highlighted the issue of senior managers moving between trusts without apparent accountability for their actions, raising concerns about their future conduct.
Initially, there were plans for a non-statutory inquiry without the power to compel witnesses to quickly examine how Lucy Letby managed to commit the serial murder of seven babies despite warnings from Dr. Brearey and other doctors.
However, a shift in approach came in response to pressure from families and clinicians, following Letby’s recent sentencing to multiple whole-life jail terms.
Rishi Sunak’s spokesperson conveyed a softened stance from Downing Street, indicating a willingness to consider a judicial probe.
Letby’s refusal to appear at her sentencing was criticized as “cowardly” by the Prime Minister.
Justice Secretary Alex Chalk expressed a commitment to change the law to ensure serious offenders are compelled to attend their sentencing and hear from their victims.
Education Secretary Gillian Keegan emphasized Sunak’s determination to provide answers to the families affected and to ensure a transparent process of learning from the tragedy.
Keegan explained that a chair would be appointed to collaborate with the families on the terms of reference for the inquiry and weigh the pros and cons of different inquiry types, potentially including a statutory inquiry overseen by a judge.
Addressing the question of why doctors’ warnings were disregarded by hospital managers, Keegan acknowledged that lessons would be learned from the inquiry and highlighted the need for improved protection for NHS whistleblowers.
The General Medical Council published new guidelines outlining expected standards of patient care and professional behavior for clinicians, including guidance on whistleblowing.
Dr. Naru Narayanan, president of the HCSA doctors’ union, advocated for a new statutory agency to enhance protection for NHS whistleblowers.
He criticized the existing system called Freedom to Speak Up Guardians as lacking true effectiveness, emphasizing the importance of safeguarding those who raise concerns from retribution and retaliation that could jeopardize their careers.Share on Facebook «||» Share on Twitter «||» Share on Reddit «||» Share on LinkedIn