01482 778 463
Hudgell Solicitors™ | Latest News | Furness baby deaths call for national review

Furness baby deaths call for national review

Pregnant woman in grey jumper | Stillbirths and neonatal deaths


Calls for a national review of maternity care are quite rightly being made in light of the ‘serious and shocking’ failings exposed at a UK hospital, leading to the avoidable deaths of 11 babies and a mother.

An investigation into Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust found a ‘lethal mix’ of 20 major failures in care from 2004 to 2013 at Furness General Hospital in Cumbria.

Dr Bill Kirkup, a former senior Department of Health official, who carried out the inquiry, not only strongly criticised the hospital, but also the overall NHS for the way it has monitored and regulated the major problems over a seven year period.

He says there was ‘significant organisational failure’ from the Care Quality Commission – the independent regulator of all health and social care services in England – leading to the Department of Health being ‘reliant on misleadingly optimistic assessments from regulators’.

Dr Kirkup also criticised The North West Health Authority and the Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman for failing to take opportunities to bring the problems to light sooner.

In summary, he said there had been a “simultaneous failure of a great many systems at almost every level, from labour ward to the headquarters of national bodies”.

So, whilst some in maternity services may well try and suggest this is an isolated incident, this is clearly not the case.

Yes, there are many excellent maternity services and thousands of dedicated midwives across the country, who at times work miracles to ensure mothers and their babies come through difficult labours safely and successfully.

However, this case has highlighted very clear failings for action to be taken when things are going badly wrong, leading to the avoidable loss of life.

The organisations and departments responsible for upholding and maintaining high standards of care – and holding failing hospitals and services to account – are simply not doing their jobs.

Despite these failures at Furness General starting in 2004, and including a cluster of five major incidents in 2008, it was only in 2011 that the issues came to wider attention. Even then it was not through dedicated care quality organisations and bodies, but after strong criticism from a coroner following the death of new-born Joshua Titcombe.

He said midwives had repeatedly missed opportunities to spot and treat a serious infection, leading to the greater scrutiny of the hospital.

Another failing identified in Dr Kirkup’s report was poor working relationships and communication between doctors and midwives.

As specialists in medical negligence, we at Neil Hudgell Solicitors handle cases involving death in childbirth and babies sadly being delivered stillborn.

In many cases it is the failure to communicate – the most basic of requirements for quality care – which causes mistakes to be made.

I recently secured compensation for a client whose baby was sadly delivered stillborn after failings in her care. Despite experiencing reduced movements from her baby on numerous occasions during the final month of her pregnancy, and suffering a haemorrhage, she was still wrongly treated as ‘low-risk’ on the labour ward, mainly due to poor medical notes and a lack of communication at the hospital.

The hospital admitted her baby would have been saved had she been induced following the haemorrhage, and the mother, who was 18 at the time, felt midwives were dismissive of her concerns throughout her pregnancy.

This was something also felt by another client of our firm, who also lost her baby when doctors and midwives failed to check her blood results, which had been taken after the patient had haemorrhaged badly.

The hospital said the blood results had not been checked due to a ‘medical emergency’ on the ward, but admitted that had action been taken quicker in terms of performing an emergency caesarean section, the baby could have been saved.

Both cases highlight basic, avoidable failings, and a need for lessons to be learned.

Dr Kirkup makes 44 recommendations, including calling for a national review of maternity care and for the General Medical Council and

Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) to investigate the staff involved in care during the period, following his inquiry.
This sad case must be used to bring about major improvements nationally to maternity services – and the scrutiny they come under.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

*Required

The Author

author image

Hayley Collinson

Team Supervisor and Solicitor, Clinical Negligence

hc@hudgellsolicitors.co.uk

Request a callback

Request a callback from a solicitor

 I am an existing client.









Looking to see if you're eligible?

Get in touch for free legal advice

0808 159 7699

Call today to speak to an expert

OR
Start your claim

What Our Clients Think

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very professional helpful and very…

"Very professional helpful and very friendly ."

Mr Luke Webb

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very happy with the fast service…

"Very happy with the fast service provided by Lauren at this firm. Always there to… "

Emma

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Made it very easy

"Made it very easy"

Mr Connor Robson

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Really good service!

"Really good service!"

Mr Tharsan Uthayaseelan

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Good Experience

"Very good experience with this firm and my excellent lawyer, definitely a firm I will… "

Ms Asha Joyce

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Highly recommended,very helpful and…

"Highly recommended,very helpful and good customer service, they are a company that really care and… "

Mr Robert Edward Palmer

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Rebecca Cone looked after my claim and…

"Rebecca Cone looked after my claim and I would like to say that she was… "

Anthony Lyell

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Hudgell Solicitors

"Hudgell Solicitors. Was very helpful in dealing with my case. With the road accident I… "

Mr Anthony Navier

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Hudgell Solicitors dealt with our dental negligence claim

"Hudgell Solicitors dealt with our claim very professionally, keeping us up to date at every… "

Fiona lamb

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Great service

"Great service"

Mr Ian James Bedingfield

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

was very good and deal with my case

"was very good and deal with my case"

Miss Diane Rastall

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Amazing service, would definitely recommend 😊

"Amazing service in all aspects of my case and very understanding of the situation. Made… "

Miss Laura Delaney

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Excellent service would use again

"Excellent service would use again"

Mrs Debbie Morrison

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Excellent Service

"Sam Thompson provided an excellent professional service in my medical negligence claim. Hudgell's kept me… "

HS

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Good efficient service by Sara Kidd

"Good efficient service by Sara Kidd. Thank you."

Mrs M

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

1st class service

"Excellent service throughout the process. Always kept me informed of developments by phone or post.… "

Miss Claire Milburn

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Hudgells solicitors a sure win

"I would certainly recommend hudgells solicitors to anyone wanting to file a claim for medical/dental… "

Joanne Pendlebury

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

I would definitely recommend Hudgell …

"I would definitely recommend Hudgell Solicitors to family and friends. My family”s whole experience from… "

Allison Kienlen

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

I have found the service to be Excellent

"I have found the service to be excellent, always return calls & emails promptly &… "

Mr Simon Hunt

Rated 9.3 out of 10 based on 412 reviews

Powered by Trustpilot

Our offices

London

55 Fleet Street
EC4Y 1JU

VIEW DETAILS

Hull

No 2 @ The Dock
46 Humber Street
HU1 1TU

VIEW DETAILS

Leeds

10 Park Place
Leeds
LS1 2RU

VIEW DETAILS

© 2018 Hudgell Solicitors®. All Rights Reserved.

Hudgell Solicitors is a trading name of Neil Hudgell Limited | Director Dr. Neil Hudgell MA LLB (Hons) LLD | Registered in England No. 7078429 | Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority | SRA No. 521372 | VAT Registration No. 254 7802 90