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Thursday, 27 August 2015

Morecambe Bay health trust to order probe into own maternity services

THE trust responsible for running Furness General Hospital will foot the bill for an investigation into its maternity and neonatal services.

The University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust has today announced it will commission an independently-chaired inquiry into failings in the years leading up to 2011.

Sir David Henshaw, interim chairman of UHMBT, said the board had agreed to the inquiry in June 2012, following a number of previous inspections and reports.

He said the process would start once an ongoing police investigation into the deaths of babies and mothers who received care at FGH had finished.

Sir David said: “The board was not satisfied with the previous reports produced, but felt it prudent to wait for the police investigation to progress to a more advanced stage before proceeding.

“The board has today agreed to progress with this decision.

“The inquiry will also review the findings reached in earlier reports commissioned by regulators and progress made in meeting the recommendations made in those reports.

“It is imperative the trust fully understands the underlying causes of the previous failures to provide the required standards of care in maternity and neonatal services within its hospitals.”

The cost of the process, which is yet to be determined, will be funded by the hospital trust.

The board is now looking for someone to take the role of independent chair, who will then choose the inquiry team and the terms of reference, including which matters are covered and whether the panel is to make recommendations.

Sir David said: “Whilst good progress has been made in improving safety and standards of care across our maternity units, there is still much to do to ensure their sustainability well into the future.

“It is important the trust and the wider NHS is able to learn from its previous failings as they can never be allowed to happen again.

“The outcome of the inquiry will be shared, in full, with the public.”


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