The terms of reference for the public inquiry into the crimes of Lucy Letby, and how they were able to happen, have been published.
In August, Letby was found guilty of murdering seven babies and attempting to murder six others while she worked as a neonatal nurse at the Countess of Chester Hospital between June 2015 and June 2016.
“I cannot begin to imagine the hurt and suffering experienced by the families affected by Lucy Letby’s horrific crimes”
Letby is now serving a whole-life prison sentence.
Shortly after the conviction, the government confirmed that an inquiry would take place into the Letby case.
The inquiry, chaired by Court of Appeal judge Lady Justice Thirlwall, will cover three broad areas, the government has announced this week.
These include looking at the experiences of the parents of Letby’s victims, the conduct of managers and staff – including other nurses – working at the hospital at the time of her crimes, and the culture and governance procedures in both the Countess of Chester and the wider the NHS.
It will also specifically address reports that concerns were raised about Letby by clinicians at the hospital but were initially dismissed by management.
The full terms of reference:
Announcing the terms of reference, health and social care secretary Steve Barclay said: “Losing a child is the greatest sorrow any parent can experience, and I cannot begin to imagine the hurt and suffering experienced by the families affected by Lucy Letby’s horrific crimes.
“We have a duty to get them the answers they deserve, to hold people to account where they need to be, and to make sure lessons are learned.
“These terms of reference have been agreed following engagement with the families, and I am confident Lady Justice Thirlwall will ensure their voices are heard as the inquiry gets underway.”
Lady Justice Thirlwall will produce a final report after the inquiry and, if appropriate, may also publish interim reports throughout.
The government said the inquiry was “currently setting up its infrastructure at pace so that it can begin its investigations”.