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Morecambe Bay 'withheld' damning report from regulators

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay withheld information that could have led regulators to discover its major care failures sooner, a probe commissioned by foundation trust regulator Monitor has found.

The review, by consultants KPMG, aimed to establish how Morecambe Bay was able to win foundation status in October 2010, just months before it was engulfed in a major care scandal. Unions said nurses and midwives had been left at breaking point and patients exposed to significant risks by managment failures at the trust.

KPMG’s review states that while Monitor was assessing the organisation’s application to become a foundation trust in 2010 the trust failed to disclose “the existence or findings” of a report on its maternity services by Dame Pauline Fielding.

“The same” concerns about the trust’s maternity services were not uncovered by the Care Quality Commission until July 2011.

A 2010 CQC review of maternity services, by contrast, found the trust compliant with safety standards. The CQC said it may have probed more deeply had it known about the Fielding report at the time, KPMG reported.

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