Sunday, August 12, 2012

Should know better

I cannot think of many worse things than losing a child or loved one in circumstances which might have been preventable, particularly by medical staff. I'd also expect the medical staff to at least have the common sense not to rub salt into a wound. But I'd be wrong...
Hospital hail ‘good news’ in email blunder as father drops fight for justice after their bungle led to the death of his baby son
  • Trust's customer services employee Angela Peil wrote to colleague it was 'good news' that James Titcombe was stepping back from his inquiries
  • Second time grieving father has unearthed inappropriate messages regarding his quest to find out what happened when his son died
  • Baby Joshua Titcombe bled to death nine days after he was born at Furness General Hospital, Cumbria
  • Coroner accused hospital staff of a 'cover up' regarding Joshua's care
A grieving father discovered that senior hospital staff dealing with the investigation into his baby's death exchanged 'deeply offensive' emails celebrating the end of his quest for justice. James Titcombe wrote to tell staff at the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) that he was 'stepping back' from his personal investigations in the death of nine-day-old son Joshua in November 2008. He found that Angela Peil, who worked in customer services at the trust, greeted the news by emailing Angela Oxley, head of midwifery, writing: 'Good news regarding James T'.
Mrs Oxley replied: 'Has JT moved to Thailand? What is the good news?'
Mr Titcombe, whose wife Hoa is from Vietnam, unearthed the emails as part of a Freedom of Information request.
It just beggars belief that these people are in charge of care over us and can be so callous. A man grieving over the loss of a child really doesn't need to find out that those potentially responsible for the death are treating his withdrawal from enquiries as 'good news'
It also is a shining example of where the Freedom of Information Act (something the government regards as a grave inconvenience and wants to be rid of) is of benefit to the public and can be used to unearth the real motives of those involved in decision-making.
There's the usual mealy mouthed apology about standards of course along with lessons will be learned. But nothing will bring back the child, nor ease the anguish of Mr. Titcombe that somehow or other a conspiracy of neglect, blame shifting and silence surrounding the death of his son was in place and those involved saw his potential withdrawal as good news on a par with him emigrating to Thailand.

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