Senior managers at the hospital have been accused of failing to prevent some of the later deaths by not acting on concerns.
The president of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has warned that Lucy Letby would have been stopped sooner “if she wasn’t white”.
It comes after the suspended nurse was found guilty of murdering seven babies and attempting to murder six other infants while working on the Countess of Chester Hospital’s neonatal unit between June 2015 and June 2016.
Senior managers at the Countess of Chester Hospital have been accused of failing to prevent some of the later deaths by acting on concerns about Ms Letby when they were raised.
Current RCN President Sheila Sobrany says she believes Ms Letby wasn’t caught sooner because she was white.
A tweet by Ms Sobrany explains, “If we are going to learn anything from this case we need to stop denying that racism is a serious issue in the NHS, this doctor would have been listened to if he was white and Lucy Letby would have been stopped sooner if she wasn’t white”.
Ms Sobrany further added, “This was a serious safeguarding issue that compromised the lives and well-being of babies and subsequently their parents. Dr Ravi Jayram was not listened to or taken seriously.”
Between April 2016 and March 2019, around 18% of fitness to practise (FtP) referrals related to black nurses and midwives, despite making up just 10% of the register.
As the tragic events unfolded, Consultant Dr Ravi Jayram raised concerns but he was instructed to apologise and attend mediation with Ms Letby. He also claims his job security was threatened and he was actively discouraged from going to the Police.
The government has pledged to undertake a non-statutory independent inquiry into the circumstances behind the murders and attempted murders of babies at Countess of Chester Hospital to help ensure families get the answers they need.
Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay said: “I would like to send my deepest sympathy to all the parents and families impacted by this horrendous case.
“This inquiry will seek to ensure the parents and families impacted get the answers they need. I am determined their voices are heard, and they are involved in shaping the scope of the inquiry should they wish to do so.