The families of babies murdered by Lucy Letby have vowed to continue their search for answers as questions swirled around what more could have been done to stop her killing spree.
The 33-year-old neonatal nurse was convicted of the murder of seven babies and the attempted murder of six more at the Countess of Chester Hospital between June 2015 and June 2016.
The families of her victims say they have been left “heartbroken, devastated, angry and feel numb” by her actions.
Following her conviction at Manchester Crown Court on Friday, two of the families said through a lawyer that it is “not the end of our search for answers”.
Yvonne Agnew, head of Slater and Gordon’s Cardiff clinical negligence department, said: “While today [Friday] marks the conclusion of this trial, it is not the end of our search for answers and our fight for justice for our clients.
“We are determined that lessons are learnt by the Countess of Chester Hospital, the NHS and the wider medical profession so that no babies or parents are put in harm’s way like this again.”
It comes as police announced they are reviewing the care of 4,000 babies who were admitted to the Countess of Chester – and also Liverpool Women’s Hospital where Letby had two work placements – as far back as 2012.
The Chester hospital has come under scrutiny over when it called in police and whether more could have been done to stop Letby.
An independent inquiry into its handling of the case has been announced by the Department of Health and the health ombudsman has also said the NHS must improve its working culture when staff raise “warnings of real evil”.
There were 13 deaths on the neonatal unit where she worked over a one-year period, which is five times the usual rate, and the nurse was on duty for all of them.
She could have been stopped as early as June 2015 when executives held a meeting where it was agreed an external investigation into the deaths would be held but it never was.
In October that year, after seven babies had died, a link was made between all the fatal collapses and Lucy Letby, whom prosecutors described as a “constant malevolent presence” in the care of the infants.
Despite this the link was believed to be co-incidental.
A retired doctor who worked at the hospital says questions must be asked about whether the Letby could have been stopped earlier.
Dr John Gibbs, a retired consultant paediatrician, also questioned why managers took 11 months to involve police when suspicions were raised.
Asked if the killer nurse could have been stopped earlier, Dr Gibbs told Sky News: “I think that needs to be looked into.
“Partly, could we have stopped Lucy Letby earlier? And I think some of the parents of the babies towards the end will be asking that.
“But then, once we have realised, we had great concerns about Lucy Letby, and she was removed from the neonatal unit, why did it take 11 months for the police to then be called in?
“That is something that, we as paediatricians have to look at, but also the managers need to answer, why it took so long for the police to come in.”
She was still working at the trust when she was arrested at her semi-detached home in Westbourne Road, Chester, at 6am on 3 July 2018.
Letby will be sentenced on Monday and has already indicated via her lawyers she does not wish to attend.