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Failings responsible for 11 baby deaths

Posted in: Birth Injury Medical Negligence Wrongful & Accidental Death 

An inquiry has concluded that the deaths of 11 babies could have been prevented had it not been for a “lethal mix” of failures at a Cumbrian hospital. An investigation into Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust found that a total of 20 different failings contributed to the deaths of 11 babies at Furness General Hospital between 2004 and 2013.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt described the findings as “a second Mid Staffs” in the House of Commons. The report stated that the highlighted failings represented the inadequacy of “a great many systems at almost every level, from labour ward to the headquarters of national bodies”.

“I apologise unreservedly”

Mr Hunt put forward a number of recommendations, saying that issues of this severity need to be resolved immediately and thoroughly so that “these mistakes are never repeated”.  He appointed the National Director of Patient Safety at NHS England, Dr Mike Durkin, to draw up a set of guidelines about the reporting of serious incidents, as well as create an independent national team to go on ‘rapid fact finding missions’ as soon as any issues arise.

He also asked Prof Sir Bruce Keogh, the Medical Director of NHS England, to carry out a review of the professional codes of conduct for doctors and nurses to ensure that all medical mistakes are reported, and not simply covered up.

Pearse Butler, Chair of the Morecambe Bay Trust, said: “The trust has made some very serious mistakes … I apologise unreservedly to the families concerned. I am deeply sorry that so many people have suffered.

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