Lucy Letby’s former boss referred to nursing regulator

The Nursing and Midwifery Council said Alison Kelly has been referred to the fitness to practise process.

The nursing regulator for the UK has confirmed it is looking into claims against Lucy Letby’s former boss, Alison Kelly.

Ms Kelly, who was director of nursing at the Countess of Chester Hospital before leaving in 2021, has been suspended from her current role, nursing director at the Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust in Salford, after she was accused of ignoring concerns about Letby.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) said she has now been referred to the fitness to practise process.

Ms Kelly’s referral had been paused pending the outcome of the trial at the request of the police.

The regulator will now investigate and take action if necessary.

Letby, 33, was found guilty of murdering seven babies and attempting to murder a further six between June 2015 and June 2016.

She was handed a whole-life order at Manchester Crown Court on Monday.

During the trial the court heard that a number of consultants working with Letby had started to raise concerns about her association with babies collapsing as early as 2015.

She put in a grievance against her employer – which was ruled in her favour – after she was moved to clerical duties, and senior doctors were forced to apologise and even attend mediation.

One of the consultants, Dr Stephen Brearey, suggested NHS managers should be held accountable in the same way that medics are.

Asked if he would like to see regulation of hospital administrators, he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Absolutely. Because doctors and nurses all have their regulatory bodies that we have to answer to.

“And quite often we’ll see senior managers who have no apparent accountability for what they do in our trusts, and they move to other trusts, and you worry about their future actions.

“There doesn’t seem to be any system to make them accountable and for them to justify their actions in a systematic way.”

The Government will hold an independent inquiry into the circumstances surrounding Letby’s crimes to ensure “vital lessons are learned”.

However, Dr Brearey said he would like to see a statutory inquiry.

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