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Morecambe Bay NHS Trust apologises to families

Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust have apologised "unreservedly" to the families who suffered as a result of failures in one of its hospital's "seriously dysfunctional" maternity units.

Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust has apologised over failings at its Furness General Hospital in Barrow, Cumbria Credit: PA

Pearse Butler, Chair of the Trust Board, said: "This Trust made some very serious mistakes in the way it cared for mothers and their babies. More than that, the same mistakes were repeated. And after making those mistakes, there was a lack of openness from the Trust in acknowledging to families what had happened.

"For these reasons, on behalf of the Trust, I apologise unreservedly to the families concerned. I'm deeply sorry that so many people have suffered as a result of these mistakes."

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Kirkup: 'Disturbing catalogue of missed opportunities'

The Chairman of the Morecambe Bay Investigation, Dr Bill Kirkup, has said there was a "disturbing catalogue of missed opportunities" at Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust.

He said had proper investigations into serious incidents been conducted as far back as 2004 it would have raised the alarm about the level of maternity and paediatric care being provided.

Dr Bill Kirkup

He said: "There was a disturbing catalogue of missed opportunities, initially and most significantly by the Trust but subsequently involving the North West Strategic Health Authority, the Care Quality Commission, Monitor, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman and the Department of Health.

"Over the next three years, there were at least seven opportunities to intervene that were missed. The result was that no effective action was taken until the beginning of 2012."

Kirkup added that the trust should acknowledge and apologise for what happened at Furness General Hospital.

Father: 'We've never been able to grieve because we've had to fight all the way.'

The father of one of the babies who didn't survive at Furness General in Barrow says they never had the chance to move on or grieve because they were always fighting to get to truth about what happened. Simon Davey, whose son Alex was stillborn in 2008, was speaking ahead of the report into a series of deaths at the maternity unit which is published at noon today

Inquiry report into deaths of babies and mothers in Barrow is published today

Furness General Hospital at centre of inquiry

An independent report into alleged failures at a maternity unit is being published at noon today.

The Morecambe Bay Investigation was launched nearly 18 months ago after a series of deaths of newborn babies and mothers in the maternity and neonatal services unit at Furness General Hospital in Barrow, Cumbria.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who ordered the inquiry, said at the time that the principle concern was to find answers for families as to what went "desperately wrong" with care received and to ensure there was no repeat.

Those families received copies of the report last night to give them a chance to see the details before it goes public.

Inquiry headed by Dr Bill Kirkup who served on Hillsborough independent panel

The inquiry has been chaired by Dr Bill Kirkup. He focused on the management, delivery and outcomes of care between January 2004 and June 2013.

It has reviewed all deaths that occurred during that period and the response from the trust's board to such "untoward incidents".

The investigation team has also looked at how the trust reacted to a number of reports it received from 2010 onwards when it was already known there were concerns about maternity care.

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Apology from Morecambe Bay Health Trust over mother and baby deaths at maternity unit

Furness General Hospital, Barrow, at centre of inquiry

The new Trust Board would like to again apologise to all those who lost loved ones because of failures at the Trust. We continue to be committed to assisting the work of the Morecambe Bay Investigation, and have been open and transparent throughout.

We do not feel it is appropriate to comment further whilst the Morecambe Bay Investigation, commissioned by the Department of Health, is still ongoing.

As a Trust, we now await the publication of the report tomorrow, and will address any recommendations made to enable us to further improve the services we offer to women and families, across our hospitals.

– Dr David Walker, Medical Director, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHSFoundation Trust
  1. Amy Welch, ITV News

Families wait for answers ahead of a report into Barrow maternity unit

Tomorrow sees the release of a inquiry report following a series of deaths of newborn babies and mothers at a hospital in Barrow.

The Kirkup investigation on the maternity unit at Furness General Hospital in Barrow was set up to find out what went wrong and to try to ensure it can't happen again.

It's examined dozens of case and is widely expected to highlight persistent failures.

Our correspondent Amy Welch has the story:

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