Regulator’s role in decision by ombudsman not to look into baby’s death is to be investigated

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 14 December 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e8524
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

The Care Quality Commission has commissioned an independent review to investigate a claim that its former chief executive, Cynthia Bower, tried to discourage the health service ombudsman from investigating the death of a newborn baby at a hospital run by University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust.

The CQC has asked the consultancy firm Grant Thornton—which is already carrying out a review of its regulatory activities in relation to Morecambe Bay—to look into the allegations by the baby’s father, James Titcombe.

Joshua Titcombe died aged 9 days from a lung infection at Furness General Hospital, run by the Morecambe Bay trust, in November 2008. His is one of several deaths of babies and mothers at the hospital that are being investigated by Cumbria Police.1

James Titcombe asked the then parliamentary and health service ombudsman, Ann Abraham, to …

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