Liz McInnes, Labour Member of Parliament for Heywood and Middleton, has issued the following statement regarding the Manchester Evening News report of serious failings in Pennine Acute Trust maternity services.
‘This is an absolutely shocking report. I am saddened to hear of the pain and distress caused to patients on these maternity wards and my heart goes out to them. My own son was born at the Royal Oldham Hospital 20 years ago, and it causes me real concern to hear that the excellent care I and my newborn baby received at that hospital is being found sadly lacking in the present day.
I am grateful to bravery of the whistleblower who took great risks to alert media to the report, and to tenacity of Jennifer Williams and the Manchester Evening News in seeking out the truth. I am also shocked at the apparent lack of transparency and openness by Pennine Acute, who clearly did all they could to suppress the truth becoming known.
Staff shortages and an over-reliance on agency staff appear to have contributed to the problems. This emphasises yet again the importance of recruitment and retention of our own highly trained NHS workforce.
I am also appalled that the report states that lab tests were ignored. As an ex-Pathology worker at Pennine Acute I know how hard the lab staff work to get results out in a timely manner and it is shocking to hear of clinical staff ignoring these vital components of patient care. Whilst the layperson may, understandably, not recognise the importance of pathology results, it is unforgivable that clinical staff should ignore these results and there is clearly a real training need here.
I have written to Pennine Acute NHS Trust Chief Executive Sir David Dalton to ask for an urgent meeting to discuss the report and to seek urgent reassurance that appropriate action has been taken so that no more parents and babies suffer from the poor treatment which this report reveals.’