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Wednesday, 01 July 2015

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Parents’ fury at Barrow baby death email findings

THE couple at the heart of an email probe at the health trust whih runs Furness General Hospital in Barrow have criticised the “disgusting” response after a senior figure was cleared of allegations she attempted to influence a coroner.

APOLOGY Jackie Daniel, chief executive of the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust

Simon Davey and Liza Brady’s son Alex Davey Brady was stillborn at Furness General Hospital in Barrow in 2008.

The couple obtained information from the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust which included an email, sent by Ranu Rowan, head of legal services.

Mrs Rowan was suspended when extracts of the email were made public by the couple last year.

In one of the emails, Mrs Rowan wrote to Tony Halsall, the then chief executive, to ensure Mr Halsall was happy with a letter being sent to South Cumbria coroner Ian Smith “in the hope it may nudge him away from holding an inquest, as we discussed”.

The trust last week confirmed Mrs Rowan had been cleared of any wrongdoing and issued an apology.

Now Mr Davey and Ms Brady have hit out at the “disgusting” response from the trust’s inquiry which dismissed Mrs Rowan’s wording as “subtle”.

Mr Davey said: “The email we got from Jackie Daniel was disgusting. It basically said the way Mrs Rowan worded it was quite nice and that it’s just the way solicitors speak.

“Ultimately we’re worried that nothing will be done, we will have gone through it all – for nothing.”

Ms Brady added: “I think they are telling people what they want to hear. We have expressed disappointment that we were not contacted to be invited to take part in the investigation.”

In the email, seen by the Evening Mail, the investigation – carried out by legal firm Hempsons – said: “Not all lawyers would have taken such a subtle approach and it would have been appropriate for Mrs Rowan to directly challenge the right of the coroner to hold an inquest in this case.”

Trust chief executive Ms Daniel has told the couple: “On her return to work, I will be encouraging Ranu to apologise to you both for the distress this has caused.

“Whilst the investigation has concluded without the allegations being substantiated, I want to take this opportunity to apologise on behalf of the trust for any distress that the release of the email caused you.

“Ranu has been advised in the strongest terms of the impact that her ill-considered use of terminology (in this instance) had within the local community, particularly with yourselves.”

Have your say

This seems such a very confused report and situation - an investigation found that Ms Rowan had been cleared of any wrong doing, is therefore to return back to work and yet she is being "encouraged" to apologise. ?? This can only send mixed messages to this poor family and the whole community.

Posted by Marmalade on 30 January 2014 at 10:37

I am pleased to read that sense has prevailed and Mrs Rowan has not been hung out to dry for a comment taken out of context. Its a shames that Coroners Officer Liz Gaskell wasn't treated with the same common sense approach.
Whilst I have every sympathy with the parents who lost babies and suffered trauma, this constant nit picking must stop. Its all becoming a bit too much conspiracy theory and dare I say it a 'witch hunt'. Time for it to stop before more people are hurt.

Posted by Concerned reader on 22 January 2014 at 10:59

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