Meet Ravi Jayaram, Indian-origin doctor who helped catch UK nurse guilty of killing 7 newborns
Dr Ravi Jayaram is a UK-born Indian-origin consultant paediatrician at the Countess of Chester Hospital in northern England.
Lucy Letby, a neonatal nurse in a British hospital, was found guilty on Friday of murdering seven babies and trying to kill six others during a year-long campaign of deception that saw her prey on the vulnerabilities of sick newborns and their anxious parents.
Dr Ravi Jayaram, a UK-born Indian-origin consultant paediatrician at the Countess of Chester Hospital in northern England's Chester, is among those who raised concerns and helped convict the nurse found guilty by a UK court.
Who is Dr Ravi Jayaram?
Dr Ravi Jayaram is a consultant paediatrician at the Countess of Chester Hospital. He presented episodes from the first series of Accelerating Health a podcast which explores the bright spots, new initiatives, and partnerships that are supporting resilient health systems during Covid-19 and in the future.
Having worked in the National Health Service or NHS for over 10 years, Jayaram did his undergraduate training in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and trained in paediatrics in the north-east of England, Bristol, New South Wales and London.
Jayaram deals with many aspects of child health but has a particular interest in asthma, cystic fibrosis and other childhood lung disorders as well as in behavioural paediatrics, medical education and care of critically ill children.
How did the doctor help catch the nurse?
Dr Ravi Jayaram said some of those lives could have been saved if his concerns about former nurse colleague Lucy Letby had been heeded and the police alerted sooner. “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’ in a television interview after the verdict.
He told the channel that consultants first began raising concerns after three babies died in June 2015. As more babies collapsed and died, senior medics like him held several meetings with hospital executives to raise their concerns about Letby.
Eventually, it was in April 2017 that the NHS trust allowed doctors to meet with a police officer. "The police, after listening to us for less than 10 minutes, realised that this is something that they had to be involved with. I could have punched the air," said Jayaram.
Shortly afterwards, an investigation was launched that would lead to Letby’s arrest.
Why did Lucy Letby kill the babies?
After 22 days of deliberation, the jury at Manchester Crown Court convicted 33-year-old Lucy Letby of killing the babies, including two triplet boys, in the neonatal unit at the Countess of Chester Hospital between June 2015 and June 2016. She will be sentenced on Monday.
Letby used a variety of methods to secretly attack a total of 13 babies in the neonatal ward.
The CPS presented evidence of Letby using 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; impact-type trauma.
Her intention was to kill the babies while deceiving her colleagues into believing there was a natural cause, the jury was told.
“Lucy Letby sought to deceive her colleagues and pass off the harm she caused as nothing more than a worsening of each baby’s existing vulnerability. In her hands, innocuous substances like air, milk, fluids – or medication like insulin – would become lethal. She perverted her learning and weaponised her craft to inflict harm, grief and death,” said Pascale Jones of the CPS.
Letby was first arrested in July 2018 and subsequently charged in November 2020.
The Cheshire Constabulary, which investigated the case, said it had been one of the toughest cases for them.
(With inputs from PTI)