Shaun Lintern

Sunday Times

The conviction of killer nurse Lucy Letby came on a Friday afternoon. Many broadcasters and newspapers reported comments about a cover-up of concerns from the doctors perspective immediately. But for nine months Lintern had been investigating Letby and the actions of managers. Cultivating multiple NHS sources who shared hundreds of documents, emails and minutes, Lintern was able to reveal shocking fresh details that even Letby’s medical colleagues did not know. This included the private grievance report promising Letby a job at Alder Hey Children’s hospital. This, alongside reporting of the criminal trial by northern editor David Collins, led to an article that showed how far the trust had gone in treating Letby as a victim. 

Lintern's in-depth read over two pages plus a pg 1 splash delivered the definitive story on Letby that crucial weekend. Key lines were followed by every national media outlet while digitally the story had an average reader dwell time of 10 minutes. Lintern subsequently followed up with a page 1 splash of leaked emails from consultants about the chaotic care on the ward where Letby worked. Ian Paterson was a well-reported scandal over the past decade for his needless surgery on women. But Lintern’s link with victims over years led him to look at a new angle, how Paterson’s poor practice in cancer patients may have contributed to deaths. Using his contacts and investigative skills Lintern obtained new information about the scale of deaths linked to Paterson via coroners. He spent time with families, read medical reports, interviewed key players and encouraged sources to reveal the true extent of the coroner investigation.

This story was a page 1 splash for followed by every single national print and broadcast outlet that weekend. A classic Sunday scoop that shed light on the secretive coroners process and led to a public statement confirming the story's details in the months that followed. Lintern followed up with an investigation of private hospitals and how safety loopholes still remain. NHS winter crisis stories are common, but Lintern showed his ability to connect the dots and reveal the systemic issues in this story from November 2022. He also showed his sheer determination and skill through good old fashioned reporting to land a news story that read like a fresh tale on a well known story. Lintern was leaked a copy of a coroner's report to the health secretary before it had become public - it came late in the week. In a frantic 24 hours he successfully tracked down each family, using contacts, public records, social media and even persuading the coroner’s office to forward his message to one family. The final piece was a compelling tale that linked a social care collapse to hospital delays to A&E blockages and deadly ambulance delays. The story had phenomenal online reach and widely followed up. Lintern’s depth of knowledge, skill in cultivating sources and stories rich in detail has made The Sunday Times the go-to newspaper for health investigations in the past 12 months.