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.
Doctors threatened with consequences
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.
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.
Various methods used to attack babies
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.
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.
(With inputs from IANS)