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Morecambe Bay Investigation Report Published

The report of the investigation into maternity and neonatal services in Morecambe Bay has been published, and makes a number of far-reaching recommendations to prevent future unnecessary deaths.

The investigation was established by the Secretary of State for Health in September 2013 following concerns over serious incidents in the maternity department at Furness General Hospital (FGH).

Covering January 2004 to June 2013, the report concludes the maternity unit at FGH was dysfunctional and that serious failures of clinical care led to unnecessary deaths of mothers and babies.

The investigation report details 20 instances of significant failures of care in the FGH maternity unit, which may have contributed to the deaths of three mothers and 16 babies. Different clinical care in these cases would have been expected to prevent the death of one mother and 11 babies. This is almost four times the frequency of such occurrences at the Trust’s other main maternity unit, at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.

The report makes 44 recommendations for the Trust and wider NHS, aimed at ensuring the failings are properly recognised and acted upon.

Commenting on the report, Maureen Watt, Scottish Government Minister for Public Health, said:

"We will closely examine the recommendations in the Morecambe Bay report as part of that review. We will also be writing to all NHS boards in Scotland to ask them to carefully consider the report and whether there are any immediate lessons that can be learned."

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