A senior NHS leader who reportedly ignored the nad's warningsbaby serial killer Lucy Letbyhas been suspended, De Telegraaf has learned.
Alison Kellywas charged in court with failure to act when doctors raised "serious concerns" about a nurse during her tenure as director of care and quality at Countess of Chester Hospital, where Letby killed seven babies.
Ms Kelly is now director of care at the Northern Care Alliance NHS Trust in the Manchester area and local politicians have called on ministers to look into her position.
On Sunday it was announced that she has now been suspended due to various allegations that emerged during the trial.
A spokesperson for NHS England told The Telegraph: "We welcome the independent inquiry announced by the Department of Health and Social Care into the events at the Countess of Chester and we will work fully together to ensure that all lessons are learned.
"In light of the information that emerged during the trial of Lucy Letby and the announcement of an independent investigation, Alison Kelly has been suspended by the Northern Care Alliance."
It comes asNHS managers accused of ignoring repeated warningsthat Letby was a threat to the babies who faced the possibility of losing their pensions if convicted of manslaughter or criminal negligence.
Ms Kelly is a senior nurse in the Salford and Rochdale organizations within the Northern Care Alliance in North West England. It is one of the largest NHS trusts in the country and employs 20,000 staff.
The Telegraph learned that politicians in the area were deeply concerned when they learned that Ms. Kelly was still in a senior management position.
It was over eight years ago, in July 2015, when Ms Kelly was first told that Letby was the only nurse on shift when three babies died in two weeks.
Letby killed another four babies after concerns were first raised with Ms Kelly, the first just a month after Ms Kelly received a report from chief consultant Dr Stephen Brearey.
Ms Kelly was contacted again in February 2016 by Dr Brearey, who discovered common links in nine deaths dating back to mid-2015 as part of an investigation.
The managers did not launch a formal investigation until July 2016. Although Letby was subsequently removed from the unit, police were not contacted until May 2017.
The nurse, now 33, killed seven babies and tried to kill six more. She isthe worst serial killer of children in modern Britain.
According to reports over the weekend, Letby may have injured dozens more children while working at two hospitals in the Northwest.
The Rochdale NHS website, which still lists Ms Kelly as director of care but also as interim director of care in neighboring Salford, claims that Ms Kelly "led a number of improvement programs" during her eight-year traineeship in neighboring Salford. Countess of Chester Hospital.
Politicians in the region told The Telegraph that Ms Kelly's current position, a nine-roll band earning around £100,000 a year, was untenable.
Paul Bristow, a Tory MP and member of the health committee, said: "Evidence from this abhorrent trial appears to indicate that Ms Kelly was repeatedly made aware of the adviser's concerns but no immediate action was taken. .
This could have had catastrophic consequences. There are many questions for Ms. Kelly and others to answersubsequent independent investigation.
"Family and doctors could be forgiven for thinking Ms Kelly shouldn't have the same responsibilities in Rochdale, while these questions remain unanswered."
On Sunday, a Greater Manchester MP for the Greater Manchester region told The Telegraph: "I will certainly be approaching the health ministers on this issue because my constituents have a right to know that senior management is competent in their confidence."
Another said: “I was not aware of her position and it is concerning. I'm going to look at it this week."
Since Letby was convicted Friday of killing seven babies and attempting to kill six more, attention has shifted tofailures of senior management in the trust.
Dr Brearey told Manchester Crown Court that he and his fellow consultants had repeatedly called on senior management to do something.
Tony Lloyd, Labor MP for Rochdale, told The Telegraph that a review was needed to ensure current NHS leaders did not make the same mistakes as those who prevented Letby's earlier capture.
“It is clear from the testimonies of the senior doctors involved that there must now be a very rapid review of the actions of the senior management at the time, certainly to learn lessons, but also – quite frankly – to ensure that those who “maybe we made disastrous decisions that we properly accounted for,” he told The Telegraph.
Ms Kelly is the only senior executive named at trial who still works for the NHS. The terms of her suspension, which took place recently, remain unknown.
Ian Harvey, medical director of Countess Hospital at the time of the murders, has since retired and moved to France; Karen Rees, then head of nursing and emergency care, is retired and sells luxury holiday apartments in Wales; and CEO Tony Chambers ended his role as interim director of The Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Trust in West Sussex in June.
A senior pediatric consultant, who gave evidence at the trial of a serial killer, has accused the bosses at the Cheshire Hospital where she worked of "gross negligence".
Dr Dewi Evans, an expert on behalf of the National Crime Agency, will write a letter to Cheshire Police urging them to launch an investigation into the hospital's management over its "extremely irresponsible" failure to act to act.
That move increases the chance of thathospital bosses who have built up pensions worth more than a million poundscould lose their income.
Under NHS pension rules, a scheme member could lose their pension rights if found guilty of an offence.
Under the guidelines, the Secretary of State for Health "has the power to authorize the withdrawal of all or part of benefits" if a member is "convicted of a serious criminal offense in connection with their work in the NHS".
The documents, called the "Dismissal Exit Code," outline what constitutes "serious misconduct" and include a conviction that "results in a serious loss of confidence in the public service."
A legal source said: "I think the manslaughter conviction by the company in connection with the serial killer nurse who remains in the neonatal ward certainly represents something akin to a loss of faith in the healthcare system."
Dr Evans, 74, who has provided medical evidence in hundreds of cases over the last 30 years, was a key witness at Manchester Crown Court about each of Letby's thirteen victims.
"I will be writing to Cheshire Police and asking them, based on what I heard after the trial ended, that I believe we should now investigate some executives in connection with corporate manslaughter cases," he said against the Observer.
“I think this is a case that calls for a corporate manslaughter investigation. The police must also investigate [the hospital] for criminal negligence.
"Not acting was extremely irresponsible, let's be as clear as possible. We are talking about a serious emergency. It's completely irresponsible and, quite frankly, unbelievable [that they didn't act sooner]."
The call for a police investigation came after it emerged that a manager concluded that Letby's relationships with collapsed children were nothing more than a coincidence.
In the statement, Dr Nigel Scawn, medical director of the Countess of Chester NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I speak on behalf of the entire Trust when I say how deeply saddened and shocked we are by the crimes of Lucy Letby.
“We are deeply sorry that these crimes were committed at our hospital and our thoughts remain with all the families and loved ones of the babies who were injured or died. We just can't understand what they went through.
“Since Lucy Letby joined our hospital, we have made significant changes to our services. I want to provide assurance that every patient who has access to our services can feel confident in the care they will receive.
“And most importantly, our thoughts are with all the families and loved ones at this very difficult time.”
Jane Tomkinson, acting managing director of the Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Following the trial of former neonatal nurse Lucy Letby, the Trust welcomes the announcement of an independent inquiry by the Department of Health and Social Care. In addition, the foundation will support the ongoing investigation by Cheshire Police. Due to ongoing legal considerations, it would not be appropriate for the trust to comment further at this time.”