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Ombudsman comments on Lucy Letby inquiry being given statutory status

The Lucy Letby inquiry has been given statutory status, meaning that it now has use of all the legal powers available, including the power to compel witnesses to give evidence.

Earlier this month, Ombudsman Rob Behrens wrote to the Health Secretary calling for the proposed inquiry into the events at the Countess of Chester NHS Foundation Trust to have statutory status.

Commenting on the news, the Ombudsman yesterday said:

“We welcome the Letby inquiry being given statutory status. It is only right that there is such an inquiry into how she was able to carry out such heinous crimes for two years before her employer raised concerns with the police. This is the only way the families can get to the truth of what happened. It’s the very least they deserve. 

“Having said that, we still need a thorough, independent review of NHS leadership, accountability and culture, and it needs cross-party support. The culture of fear and defensiveness within the NHS is not isolated to this case, it is a widespread problem which our Broken Trust report laid bare. These recent events mean our recommendations take on even more urgency.

“This is the moment to reset the culture of the NHS which can only happen if we fully explore the problems and potential solutions. This culture of fear and defensiveness needs to change and be replaced by one where patient and staff voices are heard.”


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