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37 claims for Furness General Hospital maternity care

View profile for Judith Thomas-Whittingham
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Last week it was reported by The Guardian that Furness General Hospital is facing 37 compensation claims over deaths and injuries to both mothers and babies as a result of poor care provided by its maternity department. Figures also revealed that 24 of those claims have been made since 2011.

The figures came to light when a bereaved parent requested the information under the Freedom of Information Act after his son died just days after being born in 2008. 

Both the Care Quality Commission (responsible for the standards of care provided) and Monitor (the body responsible for the governance of Foundation Trusts) have been highly critical of the University Hospitals of Morecombe Bay Foundation Trust, the Trust responsible for Furness General Hospital. 

An external review of maternity services published earlier this year for Monitor, found "significant risk to mothers and their babies".

The Nursing and Midwifery Council has advised Furness General Hospital to make a considerable number of changes to its practices and Cumbria Police are currently investigating a number of deaths at the hospital’s Maternity Unit. 

Eric Morton, the interim Chief Executive commented: “As we have said many times before, we have badly let down women and their families with our maternity services in the past and are extremely sorry for that. There is still a lot of work to do, but so far there have been no claims instigated due to incidents in maternity services that happened in 2012."

By clinical negligence solicitor, Laura Sheehan