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'Lessons Must Be Learned' From Furness General Maternity Care

Experts Comment On Launch Of Legal Action


By Rob Dixon

Medical law experts have revealed their hopes that legal action being taken in relation to maternity services at Furness General Hospital will ensure that families affected by problems will get answers, as well as lead to an improvement in patient safety.

Reports from the BBC have revealed that 37 families have launched battles for justice after alleging that a series of baby deaths and birth injuries were caused by errors in care at Furness General Hospital in Morecambe Bay.

The majority of cases have been commenced in recent years, including the deaths of nine babies and eight cases of cerebral palsy.

An inquiry into alleged failings is ongoing and will be published by the Care Quality Commission upon completion. Previous investigations such as one carried out by Monitor were critical of management at the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Foundation NHS Trust.

Irwin Mitchell’s specialist medical lawyers act for people who have suffered as a result of failings in hospital care, including parents who have lost children as a result of errors and the families of children who have suffered birth injuries as a result of complications caused by negligence.

Jennifer Cawthorne, a Partner and medical negligence expert at Irwin Mitchell’s Manchester office, said: “The concerns which have been raised in relation to Furness General Hospital are clearly very serious and, if any good can come from the tragic problems that these families who are taking action have suffered, it will be that lessons are learned to improve patient safety at the site.

“Investigations into standards at the site are continuing and it is hugely important that these lead to decisive action which ensures that no other parents endure the heartache and trauma that these people have been through.

“Any answers which can be gained will also prove vital in ensuring that the quality of maternity care is not only of a high standard in Cumbria, but at NHS Trusts across the UK too.”

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise relating to Pregnancy, Birth & Gynaecology Injury Claims