An independent inquiry has been ordered by the government after nurse Lucy Letby was found guilty of murdering seven babies at a neonatal unit.
The inquiry will examine the circumstances surrounding the deaths, including how concerns raised by clinicians were dealt with.
Read more: Follow live updates and reaction after Letby verdicts
The public inquiry comes as police said they are reviewing the care of 4,000 babies at the Countess of Chester Hospital, as well as Liverpool Women’s Hospital where Letby had two work placements during her employment in 2012.
It will also investigate hospital governance as well as actions taken by regulators and the NHS.
The families of Letby’s victims will be invited to “engage and shape” the inquiry, “ensuring their views are heard throughout the process”, the government said.
The inquiry’s chair and proposed scope of work will be announced in due course.
In a statement, Downing Street said: “The government is committed to making the NHS one of the safest places in the world to give birth, and every single parent across the country deserves to feel confident that their babies are receiving safe and world-class treatment.”
Health Secretary Steve Barclay said: “I would like to send my deepest sympathy to all the parents and families impacted by this horrendous case.
Image: Health Secretary Steve Barclay “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.
“Following on from the work already under way by NHS England, it will help us identify where and how patient safety standards failed to be met and ensure mothers and their partners rightly have faith in our healthcare system.”
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Dr Nigel Scawn, medical director of Countess of Chester Hospital, said he was “deeply saddened and appalled” at Letby’s crimes.
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Chester Hospital ‘appalled’ by Letby’s crimes He said: “We are extremely sorry that these crimes were committed at our hospital and our thoughts continue to be with all the families and loved ones of the babies who came to harm or died.
“Our staff are devastated by what has happened and we are committed to ensuring that lessons continue to be learned.”
Dr Scawn also thanked Cheshire Police for their investigation and support provided.
“Since Lucy Letby worked at our hospital, we have made significant changes to our services and I want to provide reassurance to every patient that may access our services that they can have confidence in the care that they will receive,” he added.
“Finally and most importantly our thoughts are with all the families and loved ones at this very difficult time.”