£80K boost for hospital baby safety

� Steven Barber Photography Limited
� Steven Barber Photography Limited
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An £80,000 boost will be used to further improve safety for mothers and babies at our hospitals trust – including the Royal Lancaster Infirmary (RLI).

The University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) has been awarded the cash by the Government as part of its aim to make England one of the safest places in the world to have a baby.

The award comes two years after the trust publicly apologised to the families of 11 babies and one mother who died in their care.

This came after an investigation into the deaths at Furness General Hospital in Barrow between 2004 and 2013 – known as the Kirkup Review – uncovered a series of failures “at every level”.

James Titcombe, whose baby son Joshua died at Furness General aged nine days old in 2008 after failings at the hospital, has welcomed the news.

Mr Titcombe, now a leading campaigner for patient safety, tweeted: “Great to see @UHMBT continuing the good work.”

Later he tweeted: “After the Kirkup investigation, the imperative to improve safety in maternity services shouldn’t be in doubt.”

The trust bid for £174,000 to be used across its three sites - the RLI, Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal and Furness General.

Last March, the trust was given £18,000 in Government cash to be spent on equipment to improve safety for mothers and babies across the trust’s three maternity units.

In November 2015 the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, announced a new national ambition to reduce the rate of still births, neonatal and maternal deaths and intrapartum brain injuries in babies in England by 20% by 2020 and 50% by 2030.

The safer maternity care action plan, designed to dramatically improve the safety of maternity care in the NHS, was then announced by the Health Secretary in October 2016, including a training fund of £8m for NHS Maternity Services .

Linda Womack, Divisional General Manager for Women’s and Children’s at UHMBT, said the money would be used to “incorporate traditional methods and programmes of learning with innovative, patient based co-designed training programmes”.

She said the trust planned to develop a new simulation suite, improve communication by all professionals who work with women and their families in maternity services, and improve safety culture.