Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, has ordered the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) to be investigated over its handling of the Morecambe Bay maternity scandal, which led to the deaths of 16 babies and three mothers.
Harry Cayton, chief executive of the Professional Standards Agency, was told in a letter on Friday to take charge of the investigation “as soon as possible”.
The NMC, which has still not completed all its investigations into midwives linked to poor care at the trust, originally said it would carry out its own internal review into how it handled the scandal.
James Titcombe, a patient safety specialist who helped uncover the Morecambe Bay maternity scandal, who also lost his nine-day-old son, Joshua, from a treatable infection in 2008, said: “The NMC have badly failed families at Morecambe Bay and I firmly believe that had they acted appropriately, lives would have been saved. I now hope that a full and comprehensive investigation will be carried out.”
NMC chief executive Jackie Smith said: “We cannot change what has already happened, however, we must move forward by identifying how we should do things differently in future.”