The senior doctor who originally voiced concerns about Lucy Letby has stated that hospital managers should be subject to the same regulations as physicians and nurses.
At the newborn unit where serial killer Letby worked, Dr. Stephen Brearey sounded the alarm in October 2015.
He stated on the Today show on BBC Radio 4 that there was “no apparent accountability” for the actions of NHS managers in trusts.
On Monday, Letby was sentenced to life in prison at Manchester Crown Court.
At the Countess of Chester Hospital in Cheshire’s neonatal section, she murdered seven babies and made attempts on the lives of another six.
Despite months of warnings, the first five murders occurred between June and October 2015, and the last two occurred in June 2016.
Dr. Brearey asserted in the BBC interview that senior employees at the Countess of Chester Hospital were concerned about the organization’s reputation being damaged.
He claimed that as his concerns went unheeded, his and his coworkers’ life became extremely challenging to the point that they felt under attack.
He also asserted that his experience was not unusual in the NHS.
“Doctors and nurses all have the regulatory bodies that we have to answer to,” the consultant continued, “and quite often we’ll see senior managers who have no apparent accountability for what they do in our trusts and then move to other trusts.”
Adding that “there doesn’t seem to be any system to hold them accountable, and for them to justify their actions in a systematic way,” Dr. Brearey expressed concern about senior managers’ potential future behavior.
In addition, he stated that he did not view himself as a whistleblower and that all of his coworkers had expressed similar worries about a rise in mortality, a connection to a staff member, the unusual timing of these incidents, and the unusual nature of these events.
I felt like I was actually just following the process rather than speaking out because “we had reviewed all the cases on numerous occasions with an external expert and put all those concerns on paper.”
A spokeswoman for the NHS stated in a statement: “Following the decision last week, we have reminded NHS leaders of the importance of this. It is extremely crucial that everyone working in the NHS believes they can report concerns and that they are addressed.
Every NHS trust is required, they continued, to implement an updated Freedom to Speak Up policy and make sure that staff members can easily access it.
The complete interview will air on Today at 08:10.
The government revealed an impartial investigation into the circumstances surrounding the Letby case on Friday.
According to Dr. Brearey, the inquiry should be judge-led and have statutory powers because of the “magnitude of the events that occurred” and the effect Letby’s crimes have had on so many families. This would allow witnesses to be coerced into testifying if necessary. “Clearly what the parents deserve,” he continued.
The announced investigation is currently non-statutory, which means that its authority is limited.
Additionally, there is an increasing demand for the government to modify the law to require offenders to appear at sentencing. On Monday, Letby declined to appear before the courtroom at Manchester Crown Court.
Without her present, the judge continued and addressed her as if she were present in the dock.
Letby received multiple whole-life sentences, one for each offense, making her just the fourth woman in UK history to receive such a punishment. The trial went on for over ten months and is thought to be the UK’s longest murder trial.
It is “cowardly that people who commit such horrendous crimes do not face their victims,” according to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
How Letby was able to kill and injure so many babies for so long was the subject of an investigation by BBC Panorama and BBC News. The 33-year-old intentionally gave two infants insulin poisoning, forced-fed milk to others, and purposely gave air injections to others.
According to the BBC investigation, the hospital’s senior manager insisted that the doctors apologize to Letby in writing and ordered them to stop bringing false accusations against her.