Parents of murdered baby fear Letby hospital boss ‘get out of jail free card’

Parents of a baby murdered by depraved nurse Lucy Letby fear a former boss at the hospital where she carried out her killing spree has “a get out of jail free card” after retiring.

Countess of Chester Hospital ex-medical director Ian Harvey retired to the South of France with a £1.8million pension five years ago.

But the distraught parents of one of Letby’s victims want answers over if more could have been done to act on warnings about one of Britain’s worst serial killers.

The shattered parents, who have not been identified, told the Sunday Mirror: “Retiring should not be a get-out-of-jail-free card to distance himself from his failures to act.

“It appears he has left the sinking ship with the buoyancy aid of a large NHS pension. This is why we fully support a statutory public inquiry, so we can get the answers we deserve.”

Letby, 33, was sentenced to a whole-life term for the murder of seven babies and the attempted murders of six more. Dr Susan Gilby, who took over as the Countess of Chester Hospital’s medical director a month after Letby was arrested in 2018, said victims’ families were treated in an “appalling” way by executives.

According to the Sunday Mirror, Mr Harvey, 65, earned up to £175,000 at Countess of Chester Hospital, where Letby murdered children in the neonatal unit.

He took early retirement in 2018, shortly after her arrest, and has been accused by senior consultants of failing to act on fears over the nurse. He is reportedly living in the Dordogne region of France with his wife in a farmhouse boasting a swimming pool and stables.

Mr Harvey, who was also deputy chief executive of the hospital, has denied any wrongdoing and there is no suggestion of criminality.

Senior doctors at the hospital, where the nurse carried out her year-long killing spree on the neonatal unit, raised concerns for months before she was finally taken off frontline duties.

Dr Gilby told Sky News there was “certainly a possibility” that management failures to deal with complaints led to lives being needlessly lost.

She added: “But it needs to be an external and objective review, looking at all the evidence, and giving people the right of reply to that evidence, that will come to that conclusion, and not for individuals such as myself. From a personal point of view, and obviously speaking more as a mother than a doctor or a senior leader in the NHS, it’s my greatest fear and I think it’s more likely than not that that will turn out to be the case. I sincerely hope that it isn’t.”

When told of the parents’ “get out of jail free card” statement, Mr Harvey said: “I am willing to be subjected to proper accountability and I will attend the public inquiry in person. I will contribute fully, openly and honestly. I will do everything I can to help the parents get the answers that they deserve.”

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

The inquiry into serial killer Lucy Letby’s crimes should be led by a judge, Rishi Sunak has said. The Government has come under pressure to put the inquiry on a statutory footing, including from some of the families affected, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, and the NHS ombudsman.

The Prime Minister said on Friday that “whatever form the inquiry takes” he believes it is “important that it is judge-led”.

Speaking to broadcasters, Mr Sunak said: “This was one of the most despicable, horrific crimes in our history. And it’s really important that we get answers, particularly for the families of the victims. And of course my thoughts are with them.

“Now, whatever form the inquiry takes, I believe it is important that it is judge-led so that it has a strong, independent voice to get to the bottom of what happened.”

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman Rob Behrens wrote to the Health Secretary earlier this week saying: “Only a statutory inquiry can provide the strong legal powers necessary to compel witnesses and the release of evidence.”

The Government ordered a probe after the nurse was last week found guilty of murdering seven babies and trying to murder six more.

Ministers said the inquiry will investigate the events on the Countess of Chester Hospital’s neonatal unit between 2015 and 2016 to ensure lessons are learned.

Mr Sunak also announced dangerous offenders like Letby who commit the most heinous murders will face life behind bars with no chance of being released under new plans.

The Government aims to change the law so that judges are required to impose whole-life orders on the most depraved killers, except in extremely limited circumstances.

Source: Read Full Article