4 September 2023
Vara seeks assurances on support for the parents during the Countess of Chester Hospital Inquiry

Following the Health Secretary’s statement on the inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the crimes of Lucy Letby, Shailesh Vara seeks assurances that the parents will receive all the support they need during the inquiry process.

Shailesh Vara (North West Cambridgeshire) (Con)

The Secretary of State has rightly spoken of the enormous pain and suffering of the parents in this horrific case. He will appreciate, however, that during the course of the Lucy Letby trial, they have had to relive all that pain and suffering. As the statutory inquiry progresses, that pain will be continuing for weeks and months ahead. Will the Secretary of State give an assurance to the House that in the period ahead—during the course of the inquiry and beyond—these parents will receive all the support they need to get through this ordeal?

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (Steve Barclay)

My right hon. Friend is absolutely right about the way that the trial re-triggered a lot of pain and suffering for the families. What I found particularly powerful when talking to them was the fact that they discovered new information during the course of the trial, including harm to their children that they had not been told about hitherto. That was particularly concerning, and clearly serious lessons need to be learned from that. In terms of the support, one of the reasons for wanting to engage with them at the earliest opportunity was to ensure we are doing all we can to support them, and that is central to how I understand the judge will look to structure the inquiry to ensure that the wishes of the families are central to the approach that is taken.