JACKIE Baillie has been widely condemned after she claimed there were “parallels” between the case of serial killer Lucy Letby and a flagship Scottish NHS hospital.

The deputy leader of Scottish Labour, Baillie was told to apologise after she used an article in the Edinburgh Evening News to leverage Letby's case against the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) in Glasgow.

After discussing Letby, who this week was given a whole-life sentence for murdering seven babies and trying to kill six more, Baillie wrote: “The details of the serial killer on the loose in the neo-natal unit at the Countess of Chester medical hospital were hard to absorb and difficult to comprehend.

“Psychopathic behaviour like this, truly evil, is impossible to fathom. But there are aspects of the court case and the revelations which have since flowed which are depressingly familiar to Scots.”

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Baillie argued that warnings from staff over Letby’s behaviour had been dismissed by bosses – and claimed the same was happening at the QEUH.

Sharing the article on Twitter/X, Baillie wrote: “There are parallels between the #LucyLetby case and the QEUH in Glasgow.

Health bosses being more concerned about the reputation of the hospital than the lives of patients is simply wrong. Lessons need to be learned.”

The Scottish Labour MSP’s use of the hashtag “#LucyLetby” means her criticism of the NHS will appear in the social media feeds of anyone looking to read about the serial murderer.

Baillie was widely condemned for the piece, with former Scottish Labour MSP Neil Findlay calling it “shameful”.

“There can be huge issues of lack of accountability and arse-covering at a senior executive level in the health and social care field but to exploit this case for political gain is shameful,” Findlay wrote.

Academics and opposition politicians also attacked the use of Letby for “political point-scoring”.

“The QEUH story is terrible in its own right, so it doesn’t need this type of irresponsible sensationalism,” The University of Glasgow’s Ewan Gibbs commented.

The National’s Gerry Hassan wrote: “This is terrible hyper-partisanship and insensitivity. Comparing the serial killer #LucyLetby to the mismanagement of the QEUH in Glasgow.

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“This is the sort of stuff which gives politics and politicians a bad name.”

Journalist Neil Drysdale added: “This is a disgusting comparison, which needs to be called out.

“Whatever problems exist in the NHS, they have nothing to do with the actions of a convicted serial child killer.

“Scottish Labour increasingly doesn’t cross the line; they throw up all over it!”

An SNP spokesperson suggested that Baillie should retract her comments, saying she “would be advised to apologise for making this tasteless connection and delete the tweet”.

SNP councillor Connor McManus wrote: "Political point-scoring, by drawing comparison between an evil mass murderer of babies and the QEUH, is disgusting and vile. 

"@ScottishLabour you need to address this rancid article asap. Horrendous behaviour from a sitting MSP."

Anas Sarwar, Scottish Labour’s leader, had initially tweeted Baillie’s article out, writing: “The toxic defensive culture in the NHS fails staff and patients. It’s clear it’s time for change.”

Sarwar’s tweet was deleted, but later replaced with another which also promoted Baillie’s article. The caption was changed to remove the criticism of the NHS as a whole.

In his new post, Sarwar wrote: “The toxic defensive culture within health boards fails our NHS staff and patients. It’s clear that it’s time for change.”

Scottish Labour was approached for comment.