Parents of baby killed by Lucy Letby say they received a ‘total fob’ from hospital | Lucy Letby

Requests for a legal inquiry into the Lucy Letby The killings escalated after a bereaved family accused the hospital of ‘total negligence’ as they begged for answers.

The parents, whose newborn son was murdered and his twin poisoned, said they had made several attempts to meet with the hospital’s medical director but their appeals had gone unanswered.

Richard Scorer, a lawyer with the law firm Slater and Gordon, which represents the family, said it was “shameful” that medical director Ian Harvey failed to properly address the parents’ concerns.

He told the Guardian: “It appears Ian Harvey had little interest in conveying meaningful information to the parents, properly addressing their concerns or complying with any duty of candor to them.

“In our view, this failure to address parents’ concerns was disgraceful and another matter that needs to be legally investigated with the power to compel witnesses and document production.

Harvey retired from his role as medical director a few weeks after Letby’s arrest in July 2018 and now lives in the south of France.

Ian Harvey posing for a photo in a suit and tie
Ian Harvey said: “I’m sorry they felt cheated.” Photo: Countess of Chester Hospital

Responding to the allegations, Harvey told the Guardian: “Having read the heartbreaking statements from the victims, I know how desperate the parents are for answers and I will help them as best I can at the public inquiry. .

“I’m sorry they felt abandoned. I wanted to give detailed and precise answers, but it was difficult while the examinations and investigations were in progress. Once the police became involved, they advised us not to say or do anything that might jeopardize their investigation.

He said he was told all communication had to go through the police family liaison officers and not the hospital, adding: “I apologize for not communicating this clearly enough at this time. -there.”

Rishi Sunak is under increasing pressure to strengthen the independent investigation in the management of concerns about Letby by leaders of the Countess of Chester Hospital.

Experienced doctors first alerted an executive to the nurse’s link to three unexplained sudden deaths. in June 2015 – a year before she was permanently removed from the neonatal unit.

Letby, 33, was sentenced to life Monday, which means she will never be released from prison, for the murder of seven babies and the attempted murder of six others. She was found not guilty on two counts of attempted murder of a baby girl and the jury was unable to reach a verdict on four other infants.

The parents of twins, who can only be named as Child E and Child F, added on Tuesday to growing calls for the inquest to be made legal so it can compel witnesses to testify under oath.

Scorer, head of abuse and public inquiries at Slater and Gordon, said the family made “numerous attempts” to contact Harvey for answers about why child E died and that the condition of his twin brother deteriorated in August 2015 – but only “despite numerous attempts to recover”. for him, they never received a return call”.

Instead, the family received a series of “innocuous” letters in early 2017 – which were seen by the Guardian – which contained no proper explanation of the suspicious incidents. Scorer said, “Our customers described his answer as a ‘total mistake.’ »

The parents said they tried multiple times to call Harvey between February and April 2017 and left messages on a number he provided in his initial letter. Despite repeated calls to his secretary, they claim Harvey never returned their call. The police investigation began in May 2017.

The Boys’ Mother told Letby’s sentencing hearing On Monday they were trapped in a “living nightmare” after the “unimaginable and devastating” murder of their son in August 2015.

Her twin brother’s poisoning left him with severe learning difficulties, she said, adding that the trial helped them understand for the first time what had happened to her children.

“We now have all the raw and graphical details to deal with in the coming months. Nothing can change what happened to us. We are living on a life sentence because of Lucy’s crimes,” she added.

In a statement after Friday’s verdicts, Harvey said he would cooperate with any investigation and added, “At this time, my thoughts are with the babies whose treatment has been the focus of the trial and their parents and loved ones who have experienced something. unimaginable.”

Dr Stephen Brearey, the consultant pediatrician who first sounded the alarm about Letby, added to the request a statutory investigation Tuesday.

He called for the inquiry to look into the role of the General Medical Council (GMC) and said the regulator had “let doctors and patients down” by failing to properly investigate Harvey.

Brearey and three of his fellow consultant pediatricians filed a formal conduct complaint with the GMC about Harvey in 2018.

He alleged that Harvey failed to respond to concerns about Letby despite the growing number of baby deaths and misled the public when he said in February 2017 that there was “no cause or single factor identified to explain the increase in the number of deaths”.

Around this time, two reviews had called for further forensic investigations into several unexplained deaths, for which Letby was later convicted of murder.

Brearey said the GMC “did not bother” to review the evidence or speak to the three other consultants who filed the complaint before closing the investigation.

Harvey told the regulator he would defend himself “vigorously” but did not specifically respond to the allegations, according to a copy of the complaint seen by the Guardian. The GMC cleared him with no response in May 2022.

The former orthopedic surgeon gave up his license to practice when he retired to France in 2018 and gave up his GMC registration in 2020.

Regarding the GMC investigation, Harvey said on Tuesday: “Given the circumstances, I think there is no doubt that the GMC has conducted a thorough investigation. On May 3, 2022, the GMC informed me that it had concluded its investigation and that the matter had been dismissed.

Dr Ravi Jayaram, senior pediatrician at the Countess of Chester Hospital, said in an email to a GMC investigator on May 6, 2022 that it was “obviously evident that there was no effort on the part of the GMC” to review the evidence.

He added: “To conclude that there is ‘no evidence when in fact there has been little or no attempt to find evidence inspires very little confidence in the ability of the GMC to fulfill its primary duty of protect patients”.

Anthony Omo, director of fitness to practice at the GMC, said the regulator had “carefully considered all relevant information” and decided the case did not meet the threshold for a referral to a medical tribunal.

Omo said, “We do not take our decision-making responsibility lightly and realize that reporting concerns about other healthcare professionals can be a very difficult process.

“We offer support for whistleblowers, including a confidential hotline, staffed by specially trained advisers, who help doctors raise concerns or seek advice if they feel unable to do it locally.

“We welcome the announcement of an independent investigation, which will look more closely at these events, and we will of course participate in this investigation.”

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