NHS trust at the centre of a baby-death scandal faces another inquiry
NHS trust at the centre of a baby-death scandal faces another inquiry into its maternity care amid fears children’s lives remain at risk
- Eleven babies and a mother died unnecessarily at Furness General Hospital
- Tomorrow inquest is expected to be ordered into care at Royal Lancaster
An NHS trust at the centre of a baby-death scandal is facing another inquiry into maternity care amid fears children’s lives remain at risk, the Mail has learned.
University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust was criticised in the Kirkup Report eight years ago after 11 babies and a mother died unnecessarily because of ‘cavalier’ midwives and failings at Furness General Hospital.
Tomorrow, a coroner is expected to order an ‘enhanced’ inquest into maternity care at another of its hospitals, the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.
It follows a four-year fight by the parents of a baby girl who died at seven days old because of alleged birth blunders by midwives.
Sarah Robinson and Ryan Lock say hospital staff repeatedly insisted there had been no failings when daughter, Ida, was born and that employees tried to cover up what happened – even after experts flagged up a catalogue of concerns.
A coroner is expected to order an ‘enhanced’ inquest into maternity care at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary
Eleven babies and a mother died unnecessarily because of ‘cavalier’ midwives and failings at Furness General Hospital (file image)
Only after they alerted the coroner themselves and an inquest had been scheduled did the trust finally accept – almost four years on – that she may have lived had mistakes not been made.
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Coroner Dr James Adeley told a pre-inquest hearing in Preston this week he was concerned it had been left to Ida’s parents to report her death to his office after hospital managers failed to do so.
He said he was worried ‘systemic’ problems in maternity care identified by Dr Bill Kirkup in March 2015 had not been addressed. He said he could ‘not recall’ a single baby death being reported to him since.
Dr Adeley said. ‘There’s no indication that matters identified in the Kirkup Report have been addressed before this case. That suggests a lack of learning from the report continues to exist, and continues to place lives at risk.’
Mr Lock, 40, a secondary school teacher, accused the trust of being ‘barbaric and cruel’. ‘It is shameful the way we’ve been treated,’ he added.
Anna Mills-Morgan, a lawyer with Mackenzie Jones Solicitors who is representing Ida’s parents, told the Mail: ‘How many other cases are there where the coroner hasn’t been notified? Parents and families shouldn’t be the ones forcing action.’
The inquest will be held early next year.
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