Clegg backs calls for inquiry into maternity unit deaths
LIB Dem leader Nick Clegg has backed calls for a full inquiry into the deaths of seven babies and three mums at two Greater Manchester maternity units in the space of just eight months.
Mr Clegg called for a ‘root and branch’ investigation into the tragedies, backing calls from Labour leader Ed Miliband and Blackley and Broughton’s Labour candidate Graham Stringer.
On a visit to Hazel Grove in Stockport, he said: “It seems to me we owe it to the families and the children who have been left behind following these deaths for there to be a proper root and branch enquiry.
“You can’t really restore a community’s confidence in those maternity services until that happens.
“I’m like anybody else; I cherish our NHS. I want our NHS to be protected.
“We want an NHS which is big enough to have a hard look at itself in the mirror when things go wrong.
“We’ve seen some terrible hospital scandals in the past. We’ve seen the need to really lift the lid on hospitals and the way they’re run when things go wrong.”
Politicians demanded a full inquiry into the deaths at Royal Oldham and North Manchester General Hospitals after our sister paper the M.E.N. revealed the findings of an external review.
Bosses at Pennine Acute NHS Trust, which runs both hospitals, called in outside experts in light of the 10 tragedies between December 2013 and July last year.
A summary of the review shows investigators found there was a ‘notable absence of clinical leadership in both medical and mid- wifery teams’ which resulted in a ‘failure to adequately plan care’ in a number of cases involving babies.
Bosses are in the process of producing an action plan based on the recommendations from the find- ings and have called in outside experts to review the 10 deaths. But politicians have called for a fullscale enquiry.
Mr Stringer, Labour candidate for the Blackley and Broughton seat and MP for the area at the time of the deaths, blasted the hospitals’ ‘secrecy’ over the external review.
The families of the babies and mums were not told about it until it was to be revealed in the M.E.N. Last week the M.E.N. told of dad Chris Barnes’ devastation after his fiancée Lianne Hindle died within hours of giving birth at North Manchester General Hospital – three hours after having daughter Poppy.
Lianne, from Bury, died at North Manchester General last December – so her death fell outside the scope of the investigation.
of Salford voters have been left scratching their heads after election chiefs accidentally told them to vote for Manchester councillors on May 7.
With a month left to polling day, Manchester town hall has issued incorrect polling cards to households across the Salford council wards of Broughton and Kersal.
They state that in the local election on May 7, held at the same time as the general, they will be electing councillors to Manchester town hall.
They will in fact be voting for Salford councillors.
Manchester council is handling the polling cards for the entire Blackley and Broughton constituency, which is split between Manchester and Salford local authority areas.
Manchester town hall bosses are now rushing to re-issue the cards after ‘extremely upset’ Salford councillors complained.
A council spokesman said: “Due to a printing error these poll cards incorrectly state they relate to elections for a Manchester city councillor. This should read for a Salford city councillor. This was an administrative oversight and we apologise for any confusion. Replacement cards will be sent to voters as soon as possible.”