No action to be taken over deaths at hospital

James Titcombe who lost his son Joshua.
James Titcombe who lost his son Joshua.
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No prosecution will take place into the death of a baby that sparked a damning report into maternity care at a hospital.

Joshua Titcombe died just nine days after he was born at Furness General Hospital, run by the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, in 2008.

His father, James, refused to accept the explanations he was given for his son’s death and successfully argued for an inquest which, in 2011, heard midwives repeatedly missed chances to spot and treat a serious infection.

Following an investigation, detectives said no action would be taken over the deaths of 18 other babies and two mothers at the hospital.

Joshua’s case was passed onto the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for its consideration.

But Cumbria Constabulary announced the HSE had notified them that it would not be carrying out any further investigations.

Police added an investigation carried out by the Morecambe Bay Trust, who run the hospital, did not raise “any further issues of significance that were not already known to the investigation team”.

Senior investigating officer Detective Inspector Doug Marshall said: “Although we have not been able to progress to a criminal prosecution, I am confident that it was right for us to undertake a police investigation.

“Our investigation meant that other agencies also began looking at what was happening at Furness General Hospital, and it assisted families in getting the independent investigation that they deserved.

“However nothing can ever bring back those that they have tragically lost, and our thoughts remain with them.

“I share the hope that lessons have been learned and the necessary improvements made.”