Cumbria Police Begin Probe Into Several Baby Deaths At Hospital

10 Sep

Police in Cumbria are investigating the deaths of babies at a hospital maternity unit.

Detectives say their inquiry includes “a number of deaths” and that it is too early to say how many more may be involved.

The police operation follows the death of nine-day-old Joshua Titcombe who was born at Furness General Hospital in Barrow in 2008.

Police Probe Into Baby Deaths At Hospital

At his inquest in June this year a coroner criticised care at the hospital accusing midwives of colluding to cover up mistakes in relation to his care.

Although he found that Joshua had died of natural causes after a lung infection he outlined a list of failures by hospital staff.

Fifteen detectives at two incident rooms are investigating the other deaths but the region’s hospital trust said it did not know that police had widened their inquiries.

The Trust’s chief executive, Tony Halsall, said: “We are not aware of any further development with the investigation into the tragic death of Joshua Titcombe… or the widening of this investigation to include any other cases.

“If the police wish to contact us, we would co-operate fully to assist them.”

Parents visiting the maternity unit had differing views about the quality of care.

Some told Sky News that the treatment they and their babies were receiving were “excellent”.

Others were critical.

Terri Reid gave birth to her son Dylan just over a week ago and says staff did not pick up on an infection which affected her and her baby.

“They sent me home and then a week later (I had him two weeks early) and he picked up an infection because my waters had broken. Then I picked up an infection and we were in hospital for six days because they didn’t act on it,” she said.

Furness General Hospital maternity unit was criticised in an official report last week.

It expressed major concern particularly about out-of-hours staffing.

A number of families are believed to be making serious negligence claims against the maternity unit

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