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A decade on, a maternity unit downgraded again following needless deaths of 12 mothers and babies

Posted on 20th August 2021 in Medical Negligence

Posted by

Stuart Bramley

Partner and Solicitor
A decade on, a maternity unit downgraded again following needless deaths of 12 mothers and babies

Back in March 2015 a scandal hit a maternity unit when it was blamed for the needless deaths of 12 mothers and babies between 20024 and 2012, once again this unit has been criticised for providing poor care.

The Hospital in Barrow, Cumbria, the Furness General Hospital, was slammed for shocking failures in a bombshell report in 2015. It managed to improve but a watchdog later downgraded the unit from good to inadequate upon a recent unannounced inspection. The Morecambe Bay scandal as it was known, prompted a national review of NHS maternity services.

The regulators deputy chief inspector of hospitals in the North, Ann Ford, commented that the past improvements have not been sustained, therefore the service had deteriorated.

Inspectors also visited the Royal Lancaster Infirmary and Westmorland General in Kendal which make up the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust. It was found that all three hospitals and the trust as a whole required improvement. The inspection took place after they received concerns of whistleblowing information about the safety, quality and leadership of the services at all three hospitals.

Tozers’ medical negligence specialist Stuart Bramley writes –

“Sadly, it is not unusual to read of a hospital being criticised after inspections by the CQC and other health watchdogs found poor care. What is disappointing about this latest story is that Furness Hospital and two other units in the same Trust still have failings in the maternity unit even after a report a few years ago lambasted the provision of treatment to pregnant and labouring women. It must suggest to the local population that the previous findings have not been taken seriously enough.

I do hope this latest report is acted on immediately and that mothers to be in Morecambe Bay can once again have faith in the treatment they and their babies receive”.

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