THE boss of the trust that runs south Cumbria's hospitals has said the case of Lucy Letby is a 'stark reminder' of the importance of listening to concerns.

Aaron Cummins, the chief executive of the Morecambe Bay hospital trust, has told staff they will be listened to if they can raise concerns at any time.

Letby was sentenced to a whole life order last month for after being found guilty of murdering seven babies and attempting to murder six more at the Countess of Chester hospital.

Fears that hospital bosses did not address concerns raised by staff in the Letby case were brought up after the verdict.

In a report to the trust board following the sentencing, Mr Cummins reiterated that they are established channels for people to come forward with any concerns in the Morecambe Bay area.

He said: "Although these crimes were the actions of a single individual, this case is a stark reminder of how important it is that the NHS listens carefully to the concerns of patients, families, and staff.

"This is a highly distressing situation for many people, if you are a UHMBT Colleague have been affected by the events of the trial and you need support, please in the first instance speak to your Care Group or department leaders.

"We want everyone to feel safe and confident to speak up.

"Colleagues can raise concerns at any time via a number of established routes.

"These include via your line manager, any Trust Executive or Board member, the Trust’s Freedom to Speak Up service, our Patient Advice and Liaison Service, or a Trust governor.

"You will be listened to and supported, and you can find out more via the Freedom to Speak Up section on the Trust intranet."

South Lakes MP Tim Farron said in a debate in the House of Commons that the events at the Countess of Chester Hospital felt 'horrifically similar' to the failings that happened in Furness General Hospital's maternity scandal.

He said: "Since then, despite the freedom to speak up measures that have been instituted across the country, I still see whistleblowers in other departments in trusts in the north-west marginalised, bullied, unfairly treated and having their careers trashed, all because it would appear there is a culture of defending the reputation of institutions rather than protecting the safety of patients."

Responding, the health secretary Steve Barclay said that he had 'always championed' protecting whistleblowers in the NHS.