Dad calls for public inquiry as 37 families sue Furness General Hospital
Last updated at 16:58, Friday, 20 July 2012
A SHOCKING 37 families have been involved in civil actions relating to maternity services at Furness General Hospital since 2002.
The dad of a baby who died following what a coroner described as failings at the hospital’s maternity unit has described the figures as “unbelievable”.
James Titcombe, whose son Joshua died in a Newcastle hospital in October 2008, nine days after being born at FGH, said he had always known there would be more people affected by the hospital’s maternity provision than was widely known.
But after receiving information showing the 37 actions relating to FGH maternity services had been brought against University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust since 2002, Mr Titcombe said: “It took me by surprise, it was a lot worse than I thought. How can one small maternity unit have been allowed to cause so much suffering?”
Mr Titcombe requested the figures from UHMBT under the Freedom of Information Act.
He added: “This is real people – it’s 37 families whose lives have fallen apart.”
Mr Titcombe shared the information in a bid to support his call for further investigations.
He said: “I’m calling for an independent inquiry and I think – unless you understand that this isn’t just about reports, this is about people – the full strength of the arguments for that aren’t felt. People need to understand the truth about what’s happened here.”
UHMBT has settled five claims while the other 32 cases remain open.
Helen Budge, solicitor and senior associate at Manchester law firm, Pannone, confirmed the company has four cases relating to child fatalities at FGH.
One, relating to Alex Davey-Brady, who was stillborn in 2008, has been settled. Three others, including that of Amelia Hine, who died the day she was born in April 2011, are ongoing.
Burnetts solicitors, which represented Mr Titcombe’s family, is also working for a number of families.
UHMBT said the claims relate to incidents dating from 1996 to 2011 and the figures show the year each claim was instigated, not necessarily the year the incident took place.
Eric Morton, UHMBT interim chief executive, said: “As we have said many times before, we have badly let down women and their families with our maternity services in the past and are extremely sorry for that.
“There is still a lot of work to do, but so far there have been no claims instigated due to incidents in maternity services that happened in 2012.”
First published at 16:26, Friday, 20 July 2012
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
Shallow and incompetent NHS self-investigations are slipping through the Ombudsman's scrutiny (or what should be scrutiny) due to the somewhat understandable lack of incriminating detail and the double-speak and catch-all phraseology. The NHS investigation procedure is unfit for purpose. Why is is proving so difficult to get an independent and open investigation into dire services? The Ombudsman is patently the weak link in not highlighting the depth of dissatisfaction by 1000s of NHS customers.
I was really disgusted with the care my baby and I received on the maternity ward a few years ago. The midwives did
not respond to my serious concerns about my baby being unwell , which nearly had fatal consequences. The midwives were very uncaring and should have listened to me and acted earlier to prevent my baby deteriorating. I complained about the care but it sadly fell on deaf ears, hence the poor care has continued. Major changes are needed to ensure that this maternity unit drastically improves. It needs a complete overhaul of staff.
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