A GRIEVING father's single-minded battle for justice after the death of his nine-day old son at Furness General Hospital has been movingly revealed in a new book.

Joshua’s Story: Uncovering the Morecambe Bay Scandal brings together for the first time all the threads of James Titcombe's campaign to get to the truth about his son's death.

The book is deemed so important for the NHS, it will be launched by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt at the King’s Fund headquarters in London on Wednesday (December 2).

It details for the first time Mr Titcombe's considered response to the Government inquiry, conducted by Sir Bill Kirkup, into the maternity unit at Furness General Hospital in Barrow.

The report found a 'lethal mix' of failures at a Cumbrian hospital led to the unnecessary deaths of 11 babies and one mother.

In his book, Mr Titcombe, of Dalton-in-Furness, describes how he became poacher-turned gamekeeper and is now responsible for patient safety at the Quality Care Commission, the Government’s health and social care watchdog.

Mike Glover, a South Lakes journalist who has seen an advanced copy of the book, says it is 'as enthralling as the best thriller'.

"He pulls no punches as he describes his battles, even with those who later came to support him, like local MP John Woodcock and coroner Ian Smith.

"He describes how his campaign was misunderstood by many in the local community of Furness, who believed he was somehow helping the NHS Trust to downgrade Barrow’s maternity services.

"He even describes the impact on his own health and his marriage.

"The reader is transfixed by the incredible web of deceit, complacency and sheer bloody-mindedness of those who should have listened to what Mr Titcombe was trying to tell them: about the maternity unit, about the local management, about the health watchdogs and about the culture of the whole NHS.

"Mr Titcombe is a former project manager in the nuclear industry, and some of the most illuminating parts of the book highlight how the culture of risk assessment and staff consultation over safety matters at Sellafield, where he worked, made a mockery of procedures in the NHS."

He now regularly speaks at national conferences on the subject of patient safety and has had articles published in healthcare journals as well as the national press.

Joshua’s Story, Uncovering the Morecambe Bay Scandal is published by Andersen Wallace Publishing on December 2 as a paperback (£10.99), or as an e-book (£4.99) from www.patientstories.org.uk.