Failure to identify errors at Furness General Hospital led to baby deaths, says new report

A FAILURE to identify poor midwifery practices led to mother and baby deaths at Furness General Hospital, according to a report out today.

Midwives who should have supervised their colleagues did not spot errors despite there being serious mistakes made at the site, run by the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust.

“It is important that mistakes like this don't happen again,” said Gill Harris, NHS England's nursing director in the North.

“We would like to express our deepest apologies for the distress caused to the families affected.”

The report, put together by the Health Service Ombudsman, looked at the deaths of three babies and a mother at the hospital.

The Ombudsman, Dame Julie Mellor, found there were delays in investigating the deaths and midwives failed to spot mistakes.

But the report said there was a ‘conflict of interest’ among midwives working as supervisors who were charged with investigating their peers while at the same time being responsible for them.

Earlier this year health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, ordered an investigation into maternity deaths at the site. It will be chaired by Dr Bill Kirkup, a former deputy chief medical officer at the department of health.

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