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Joint statement in response to Morecambe Bay independent investigation

Response to report about the maternal and neonatal deaths at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust.

We are deeply saddened by the tragic and inexcusable events described in this report. They should never have happened, and they must never be allowed to happen again.

Our fundamental purpose is to ensure that every NHS patient is offered safe, honest and compassionate care, but the report is unequivocal that the care provided to some patients in the Morecambe Bay area between 2004 and 2013 fell far short of this. This is a terrible personal tragedy for all of the families involved. We apologise unreservedly for all the appalling suffering that they have endured and extend our condolences to every one of them.

Following the tragic events at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, the NHS is making progress towards becoming safer, more compassionate and more transparent – with patients at the heart of all it does. But there is more to do, and we are absolutely committed to learning from the findings of this investigation to prevent future tragedies and suffering.

We are grateful to Dr Kirkup and his expert panel for this thorough report, and particularly to the families who have played such a crucial role in bringing these events to light and uncovering the truth. As outlined in the Health Secretary’s oral statement, there are some actions that will be implemented immediately.

We will consider the report’s other recommendations in detail and work together to develop a system-wide response.

David Behan, Chief Executive, Care Quality Commission

David Bennett, Chief Executive, Monitor

David Flory, Chief Executive, NHS Trust Development Authority

Una O’Brien, Permanent Secretary, Department of Health

Simon Stevens, Chief Executive, NHS England