Dr Ravi Jayaram, a consultant at the Countess of Chester Hospital in Chester Image Credit: Dr Ravi Jayaram/Facebook

London: An Indian-origin paediatrician in England, who helped catch a nurse convicted of murdering seven babies in her care, has said that the infants could have been saved had the hospital acted faster.

Dr Ravi Jayaram, a consultant at the Countess of Chester Hospital in Chester, said he repeatedly raised concerns about former colleague and nurse Lucy Letby for months before she was found guilty by the Manchester Crown Court on Friday.

“I do genuinely believe that there are four or five babies who could be going to school now who aren't," Jayaram told ITV News after the verdict.

Letby, 33, faced a total of 22 charges, accused of murdering seven babies and trying to kill 10 more at the hospital, and will be sentenced at the Manchester court on August 21.

Jayaram told ITV that he and other doctors started raising concerns after three babies died in June 2015 but were told to “draw a line” under the suspicions and apologise to her for alleged "victimisation".

They were also threatened with consequences, Jayaram claimed.

Who is Dr. Ravi Jayaram?
Dr Jayaram, a UK-born physician practicing at the Countess of Chester Hospital, was one of the first individuals to raise alarm bells when three babies died in June 2015. As the deaths continued, senior doctors, including Dr Jayaram, shared their suspicions about Letby's behaviour with hospital executives. However, their concerns were met with resistance.

Hospital authorities seemingly dismissed the concerns and requested Dr Jayaram to retract his suspicions and apologise to Letby, citing alleged victimisation. It wasn't until April 2017 that the National Health Service (NHS) allowed doctors to communicate their worries to the police. Dr Jayaram recounted that the police grasped the severity of the situation within minutes and initiated a formal investigation.


Eventually, it was in April 2017 that the National Health Service (NHS) trust allowed doctors to meet with a police officer, following which an investigation was launched and Letby was arrested.

Detective Superintendent Paul Hughes at Cheshire Constabulary told ITV News that Jayaram and his colleague Stephen Brearey had been instrumental in catching the killer.

A handout image taken from police bodycam footage released by Cheshire Constabulary police force in Manchester on August 17, 2023, shows the nurse Lucy Letby being arrested at home in Chester on July 3, 2018. Image Credit: Photo by Cheshire Constabulary / AFP)

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) told the court that Letby used various methods to attack babies, including the injection of air and insulin into their bloodstream; the infusion of air into their gastrointestinal tract; force feeding an overdose of milk or fluids; and impact-type trauma.

British nurse found guilty
Lucy Letby was on August 18, 2023, found guilty of murdering seven newborn babies and trying to murder six others at the hospital neonatal unit where she worked, becoming the UK's most prolific killer of children. Letby, 33 -- on trial since October 2022 -- was accused of injecting her young victims, who were either sick or born prematurely, with air, overfeeding them milk and poisoning them with insulin.

The jury heard she had tracked the parents of her victims on social media, and was said to have kept souvenirs of her crimes, including children’s medical notes.

After her arrest in 2018, the police also found at her home a post-it note that read: “I am evil, I did this” and “I killed them on purpose because I'm not good enough. I am a horrible evil person”.

Tony Chambers, former Chief Executive of the Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: “All my thoughts are with the children at the heart of this case and their families and loved ones at this incredibly difficult time. I am truly sorry for what all the families have gone through."

He however, denied telling consultants they should "draw a line" under their suspicions of Letby.

Police probe

Police are investigating Letby's entire tenure at the Countess of Chester and at the Liverpool Women's Hospital where she also previously worked, sifting through more than 4,000 neo-natal unit admissions between 2012 and 2016.

Nigel Scawn, medical director at the Countess of Chester, said the case had a "profound impact" on the hospital's patients but "significant changes" have been made since Letby worked there.

The government meanwhile announced an independent inquiry into Letby's case, and will look at how concerns by clinicians were dealt with by hospital management.

UK Health Secretary Steve Barclay said it would help the victims' parents and families "get the answers they need" and "help... identify where and how patient safety standards failed to be met".
Her case revived memories of two of Britain's infamous medical murderers, doctor Harold Shipman and nurse Beverley Allitt.
Shipman, a general practitioner, hanged himself in prison in 2004, four years after being convicted of killing 15 of his patients.
A later public inquiry concluded he killed about 250 patients with lethal morphine injections between 1971 and 1998.

Allitt - a nurse dubbed the "angel of death" - was jailed for life in 1993 after being convicted of murdering four young children in her care, attempting to murder three others and other offences.