MORECAMBE BAY: Government sorry for hospital baby deaths

Statement: Jeremy Hunt, Health Secretary, addresses the Commons yesterday
Statement: Jeremy Hunt, Health Secretary, addresses the Commons yesterday
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The Health Secretary has apologised on behalf of the Government and NHS to the families of a Lancashire man and all those who suffered as a result of maternity service failures in Morecambe Bay.

Former Leyland man Carl Hendrickson had been among the relatives demanding answers.

The courage of those families in constantly reliving their sadness in a long and bitter search for the truth means that lessons will now be learnt so that other families do not have to go through the same nightmare.

Mr Hendrickson

It followed the death of his wife Nittaya and newborn baby Chester at Furness General.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the events at the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust were a “second Mid Staffs”. A report found a 
“lethal mix” of problems at a “seriously dysfunctional” 
maternity unit led to the unnecessary deaths of 11 babies and one mother.

Mr Hendrickson said today: “I have mixed feelings because the report was very thorough but it says my wife and son should have survived.

“It is the first time that it has been officially acknowledged.”

Addressing the Commons, Mr Hunt added: “Nothing we say or do can take away the pain.

“But we can at least provide the answers to the families’ questions about what happened and why and in doing so try and prevent a similar tragedy in the future.

“The courage of those families in constantly reliving their sadness in a long and bitter search for the truth means that lessons will now be learnt so that other families do not have to go through the same nightmare.”

The Government will be looking at a range of reforms based on the recommendations made in the report and will begin work on several immediately, Mr Hunt said.

The Trust has also apologised for the suffering families faced and said it had made changes.

Pearse Butler, chairman of the Trust board said the Trust had made some “very serious mistakes” and apologised to patients and their families.