Barrow hospital trust's apology over ‘insulting’ email
Last updated at 15:10, Friday, 13 September 2013
THE chairman of the trust which runs Furness General Hospital has apologised after it emerged a senior manager sent an “insulting” email about an inquest into a baby’s death.
Walney residents Liza and Simon Brady lost their son, Alex Davey-Brady, in September 2008. Alex was classed as stillborn, but an inquest found a number of problems with how his birth was handled.
The couple submitted a Data Protection Act request which has released a dossier of emails referring to the couple and the inquest into Alex’s death – and suggesting trust staff “briefed” witnesses ahead of inquests and were concerned about bad publicity.
In one memo dating back to June 18 2009, the trust's head of legal services, said: “I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news but I have this morning received a letter from the coroner informing me that the Davey-Brady inquest has been listed on July 2.
“...This means we now have four inquests in Barrow next month which have a potential for adverse publicity (and I have a further 10 witnesses to brief in addition to the 10 I already had).”
The email was sent to former chief executive Tony Halsall, medical director Peter Dyer and chief of nursing Jackie Holt.
Mrs Brady has been left furious by the remarks.
She told the Evening Mail: “Why do they need to be the ‘bearer of bad news’?
“The way they write things it’s like you are a number rather than an actual person or a family.
“They say ‘the bearer of bad news’, but to me (the inquest) is an opportunity to learn.
“I always knew they were very closed – but to have it in black and white is a different feeling.
“It has left my angry and asking how can we take confidence that things are being put right.”
Last year it emerged staff at the trust had made a number of cruel jibes about James Titcombe, whose son Joshua died. The trust later apologised for any distress caused by the remarks.
In a statement John Cowdall, chairman of the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, which runs FGH, said: “The email released to Mrs Brady under the Data Protection Act was sent in 2009 from the head of legal services to the former chief executive, medical director and director of nursing to make them aware of an upcoming inquest.
“The member of staff was highlighting the number of upcoming inquests in a short period of time, and the potential impact these could have on public and staff confidence in the trust.
“We take each inquest very seriously and are truly sorry that the email has subsequently upset Mrs Brady and her family. When it was sent in 2009, the email was meant as an internal communication to ensure that senior board members were aware of the situation and the possible effect on staff and public confidence. We do not believe it was meant to belittle the importance of the inquest.”
First published at 16:16, Wednesday, 11 September 2013
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
Sorry about your loss Mr &Mrs Brady I am sure that the pain will never diminish, I cannot and would never desire to, know what it is to lose a child. However this is obviously a very innocent email not intended to minimise your terrible experience. Personally feel that this did not warrant 'front page' news and the way it was reported, misleading. Poor pregnant women in Barrow just another thing to worry about eh?