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Wednesday, 03 September 2014

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Action group to fight for answers over tragedies faced at Furness General Hospital

AN action group has been launched to provide support to grieving parents and fight for answers over the tragedies they faced at Furness General Hospital.

Morecambe Bay Inquiry Action is a collective of patients, relatives and members of the community campaigning for a full public inquiry into failures at the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, which runs FGH, and how regulators allowed them to happen.

The group gathered for the first time last night to officially launch their drive.

UHMBT has been subject to a series of damning regulatory reports and various scandals over recent years, most notably an ongoing police investigation into the deaths of mothers and babies in the FGH maternity unit.

MBIA press officer James Titcombe said the group wanted to ensure similar tragedies are never allowed to happen again and hospitals provide safer services with a more open culture.

“The group has been set up because we feel the extent of the failures at the trust are so serious that we think for lessons to be learned we need a full independent public inquiry,” he said.

“We don’t believe an internal inquiry where the chair is chosen by the trust is ever going to be in-depth or sufficient enough to get to the root of what happened.

“The failures are much wider than maternity – the mortality figures are horrendous right across the trust – so we need to establish the truth and determine what went wrong and why.”

Mr Titcombe, of Dalton, who lost his newborn son Joshua just nine days after he was born at FGH in October 2008, said the group was not about criticising the hospital.

“We’re not about attacking all the dedicated and hard-working staff at the trust, absolutely not,” he said.

“We acknowledge and very much support the staff that work in the hospitals, but hopefully by understanding what went wrong and why, we can make sure that the managerial failures that happened don’t happen again.”

MBIA wants to ensure the truth is known about what happened, similar tragedies are never allowed to happen again, and hospitals provide safer services with a more open culture. It says this will help Barrow keep its full consultant-led maternity unit.

A spokesperson for University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, said: “As we have said, we are reviewing all our services with our local GPs.

“These reviews include the opportunity for staff, members of the public and other stakeholders to comment so clinicians and GPs can take them into account when creating a possible list of options for full public consultation later in the year. The Morecambe Bay Inquiry Action Group will have an opportunity to contribute as part of this process.

MBIA’s call for a public inquiry to happen as soon as possible also has the backing of Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock, who announced yesterday that the cause for keeping maternity services in Barrow is set to be heard within the halls of Westminster.

Mr Woodcock has secured a parliamentary debate on the future of health services in the Morecambe Bay area, as the Thousand Voices campaign to keep a consultant-led maternity unit at Furness General Hospital continues to gather momentum.

The Westminster Hall debate will take place on Tuesday at 11am and will allow Mr Woodcock to press health ministers for answers on maternity and other key services and also make the case for a fully independent inquiry to ensure lessons are learned from past failings at the NHS trust.

The MP said: “I’m delighted to get the opportunity to press ministers on the need to keep key services like the maternity unit at Furness General Hospital – the amazing stories highlighted in the Thousand Voices campaign has shown just the importance to local people of retaining a full maternity unit at Furness General.’’

Have your say

Why can't people understand that managerial failures are NOT why these sad and unfortunate incidents happened.... Management do not deliver babies nor do they manage their care!
Key failings have been identified and work is clearly ongoing to improve care at the trust.
Perhaps the trust should sit with the action group and talk them through such processes....

Posted by Anon on 31 January 2013 at 18:57

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