Sunday, September 11, 2011

Police probe four baby deaths: Missing records in maternity unit where two mothers also died - 11th Sept 2011

Police are investigating the deaths of at least four babies and two mothers at a hospital maternity unit after concerns were raised that midwives may have tried to cover up mistakes by destroying medical records.

The inquiry, involving a team of 15 officers, was launched after a coroner raised the possibility in the inquest into the death of nine-day-old Joshua Titcombe that midwives had colluded to hide crucial errors.

Yesterday, police confirmed they are widening the investigation to include a number of other deaths at Furness General Hospital in Cumbria.

The Mail on Sunday has spoken to the relatives of four babies and two mothers who died at the hospital during 2008, who said police had told them the deaths were being investigated.

It comes after a damning report into the ailing maternity unit was published on Friday by health watchdog the Care Quality Commission, which found patients were at risk from poor staffing levels and dirty wards.

The report, based on an unannounced inspection on July 18, was commissioned following the inquest into Joshua’s death, and reveals serious problems within the maternity unit more than three years after a series of deaths.

If the issues are not immediately addressed, the CQC has the power to shut the unit down. Read More