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Missed Opportunities Led to Baby’s Death

A narrative verdict has been returned at the inquest into the death of a nine day old baby boy in Barrow in Furness.

 

A narrative verdict has been returned at the inquest into the death of a nine day old baby boy in Barrow in Furness. After hearing two and half days of evidence, HM Coroner Ian Smith’s verdict was, “Joshua Titcombe died of natural causes following a number of missed opportunities to identify that he was ill and to provide him with appropriate treatment.”

Speaking after the verdict, Joshua’s father James Titcombe said, “We are so grateful to the Coroner, Mr Smith, for his thorough and fair investigation: his summing up especially dealt with all the issues which have tormented us for over 2 years.

As a family, we support and believe in the NHS.  We are extremely grateful to the staff at Newcastle Freeman especially Dr Jane Cassidy.

We also appreciate that there are lots of hardworking and dedicated people at Furness General Hospital who do a really good job.

But when things go wrong, a thorough investigation should be done quickly, openly and honestly and involve everyone, including the family. 

The loss of Joshua’s observation chart and the inadequate record-keeping made it more difficult to establish what had happened and has made it even harder to come to terms with Joshua’s death. 

What’s important now is that lessons are learnt.  The Coroner identified ten failings and although the Trust says that they have made improvements, there are still issues which must be addressed like team-working at Furness General Hospital and what he called the “compartmentalisation” of our health services.

We finally feel that the full story of Joshua’s death has been heard.  Joshua will always be a much loved son and a never-forgotten member of the family.  We want Joshua’s legacy to be a safer maternity unit so that no other family has to go through this experience.

We would particularly like to thank Miranda Hill of Burnetts and Paula Sparks at Doughty Street Chambers.”

For further media information, contact Angela Huck on 01228 552222.

6th June

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Published: Tuesday 7th June 2011
Categorised: Medical Negligence

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