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MP comments on internal inquiry into maternity and neonatal services

January 22, 2013 8:40 AM

Tim in WestminsterSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has today welcomed the news that the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust has publicly agreed to conduct a review into maternity and neonatal services. Tim has called the Inquiry 'an overdue but welcome step forward to get justice for victims of the failings of the past'.

The Board agreed in June 2012 to commission an independently chaired internal inquiry to investigate failings in the maternity and neonatal services provided by the Trust in the years leading up to 2011. The Board was not satisfied with the previous reports produced, but felt it prudent to wait for the police investigation to progress to a more advanced stage before proceeding. On Monday 21 January 2013, the Trust Board agreed to progress with this decision. The inquiry will also review the findings reached in earlier reports commissioned by regulators and progress made in meeting the recommendations made in those reports.

The inquiry announced today will commence following the conclusion of the on-going police investigation into the death of babies and mothers, following care received at FurnessGeneralHospital. The Trust continues to fully co-operate with Cumbria Constabulary.

Tim said: "I welcome the news today that the trust will hold this review. This inquiry is overdue and is something we have called for over many months in meetings with the trust and with health ministers. I think it is vital we get to the truth of what happened and that people are held accountable for their actions. I want this review to be serious, rigorous and fair so I look forward to seeing the terms of reference.

"I do not want this report to be a whitewash, it must be fair and honest and the trust must be prepared to hold their hands up and admit major failings. I will make sure that this report lands on health ministers' desks and I will continue to press for an external and public inquiry after the police have finished their investigations."