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Morecambe Morecambe Bay Hospitals Report delayed

Furness General Hospital Credit: ITV Granada

The Chairman carrying out the Morecambe Bay Hospitals investigation has asked for more time to complete his report into failings at the NHS trust.

When the Secretary of State for Health announced the terms of reference in September 2013, its Chairman, Dr Bill Kirkup, was asked to produce his Report this July.

The Investigation has now identified over 20 organisations holding material that is relevant to the investigation.

The Secretary of State says due to the significant volume of material the Investigation has received, a short extension to the timeline has been granted.

Dr Kirkup is expected to submit his Report in the Autumn.

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Ombudsman's Morecambe Bay report presented to Parliament

The Health Ombudsman says the Morecambe Bay NHS Trust lacked openness and honesty over its handling of the death of baby Joshua Titcombe. He died after staff at Furness General Hospital made more than ten serious errors.

“We are publishing these reports as they highlight the need for more openness and transparency in the way hospitals and the wider health and social care system deal with complaints. Hospitals and other health care providers have a duty to patients and their families to investigate their concerns properly. In these cases the Trust failed to be open and honest about what went wrong and this caused the complainant and his family further unnecessary distress at a very difficult time."

– Julie Mellor, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

“When serious untoward incidents happen there needs to be an independent investigation which looks at the root cause of the complaint and the role of human factors such as people and the organisation’s culture. We expect all service providers to adopt this approach to help them understand why mistakes happen and help improve services for everyone.Our recommendations underline how important it is that Trusts learn from complaints. This is what families want and deserve.”

– Julie Mellor, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Trust responds to Titcombe criticism

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHSFoundation Trust, has issued a response to the criticisms made by the Ombudsman.

“There is no doubt that the Trust has badly let down the family following the tragic death of their baby in 2008. Clearly some of the actions highlighted by the Ombudsman have caused further unnecessary distress and pain. This is completely unacceptable and we are truly sorry for this. The Ombudsman has upheld three out of four complaints made against the Trust and the Board will ensure that the recommendations from these are acted upon as required.

– Jackie Daniel, Chief Executive, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust

“Since these incidents took place we have taken steps to improve the areas highlighted in the report. The way that incidents and complaints are handled by the Trust has changed and new governance arrangements have been put in place, so that all moderate and severe incidents and subsequent investigations and action plans are now reviewed weekly by the Executive Chief Nurse, Medical Director and senior clinicians. This helps the Trust to identify that investigations have been thorough, appropriate guidelines are followed and when further action is required.

– Jackie Daniel, Chief Executive, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust

We expect staff to always communicate in ways that are appropriate and sensitive to the needs of patients. We have introduced regular training seminars for staff .... The Trust will respond to the recommendations in relation to this accordingly. The Trust has fully cooperated with the Ombudsman during this process. We acknowledge that there may be aspects from these reports that the on-going Police investigation and the independent investigation into maternity and neonatal services may wish to consider. We will continue to fully support and cooperate with both of these investigations.”

– Jackie Daniel, Chief Executive, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust

New report slams Morecambe Bay Trust over Titcombe case

Joshua Titcombe died of a preventable infection in 2008 Credit: GTV

The Health Ombudsman has criticised the Morecambe Bay NHS Trust over its handling of the death of baby Joshua Titcombe.

Staff at Furness General Hospital made more than ten serious errors.

The new report says a lack of openness and honesty caused unnecessary distress and pain to the family.

Joshua's father James Credit: GTV

The Ombudsman also upheld complaints from Joshua's father James about the adequacy of the North West Strategic Health Authority's investigation of the Trust.

The Ombudsman's report is being presented to Parliament.

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Video: Improvements at Cumbrian maternity unit praised by watchdog

A maternity unit in Cumbria under investigation after the deaths of a number of mothers and babies has been praised for making improvements.

The health watchdog the Care Quality Commission published its findings after an unannounced visit to Furness General Hospital in Barrow.

Campaigners who've criticised standards of care at the unit say it'll take time before they are fully convinced it's safe.

This report from Amy Welch:

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