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22 May 2018

Avoidable deaths because a regulator took too long to act?

2 mins

A recent investigation has found that a number of babies may have died as a result of the failure of a regulator properly to act on concerns about midwives at Furness General Hospital, part of the University Hospitals of Morecombe Bay NHS Foundation Trust. The tragic case of Joshua Titcombe, and the perseverance of his father, has helped to lead to a review of the role of the Nursing and Midwifery Council, who regulate Nurses and Midwives.

That review was triggered by the March 2015 investigation into the Trust which stated that the recent report by the Professional Standards Authority, who’s role is to protect the public, concluded that the Nursing & Midwifery Counsel “did not take credible information which it received about the midwives at the Furness General Hospital seriously or take action to satisfy itself that the midwives were fit to practice” and damingly “The cases that we saw suggested to us that, culturally, the NMC does not recognise the value that patient and family evidence provides or that patients and families have an interest in cases which, as a regulator, it needs to take seriously. It was not frank and open with them”. The Council have said that they have taken on board the content of the report.

It now appears that some babies may have survived if the Nursing and Midwifery Council had acted appropriately to investigate concerns reported to them by parents, staff and the police.

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