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NHS regulator doubts that Morecambe trust can improve maternity services

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d6669 (Published 14 October 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d6669
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

Failings in maternity services at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust have forced the regulator Monitor to play its strongest card and declare the trust in breach of its authorisation.

This means that Monitor has doubts about whether the trust’s management and board have the competence to put things right. Last month the other NHS regulator in England, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), issued a warning notice about the standards of care in maternity services at the trust, identifying major concerns with staffing levels, risk management, and outdated facilities (BMJ 2011;343:d5777, doi:10.1136/bmj.d5777).

The commission made unannounced visits in July to the three hospitals in the trust a month after a coroner had issued an official notice to Furness General Hospital in Barrow to take action to deal with failings in care. His intervention came after he had …

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