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NHS 'Baby Death' Cover-Up Is Sickening, Say Parents Of Baby Amelia Bower Who Died In Cumbria Hospital

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The parents of a baby who died at Furness General Hospital just 23 hours after being born have said they are "sickened" they were not informed of earlier failings at the hospital.

Amelia Bower died in April 2011 at the Cumbrian hospital which had been investigated over the deaths of other babies three years earlier.

Her parents, Kelly Hine and Carl Bower, told ITV News that it was "ridiculous" that problems had not been solved after concerns about the hospital's maternity unit were raised in 2008, following a spate of mother and baby deaths.

A year before Amelia was born, the unit had been given the all clear by the NHS regulator, the Care Quality Commission, following an investigation.

A year later an internal review was commissioned into how the CQC had not identified problems in the trust. The extremely critical report was not published.

Ms Hine said she would not have gone to that hospital had she known of the earlier failings at the maternity unit.

She said: "I wouldn't have gone there for a start. There's no way I would have gone if I knew anything like that. Because mothers just care for their babies and they're not going to go somewhere unsafe like that."

Asked how she felt about that being kept from her, she said: "Sickened. There's no other words for it."

The inquest into Amelia's death concluded she could have had an increased chance of survival if she had been moved to a specialist unit sooner.

Amelia died after ingesting meconium (early faeces) before her birth. The inquest hearing was told the consultant responsible for her care adopted a "wait and see" approach rather than transfer her. A narrative verdict was recorded.

Ms Hine said she knew something was wrong with her labour when her waters broke and were discoloured, adding: "I didn't feel in control as soon as I came into labour really because I was crying in the midwife's face and I was crying from the start from when my waters broke cos motherly instinct. I just knew that something was wrong but nobody would believe me."

Mr Bower said: "They basically said to me that what they're doing to her now is causing a lot of pain so it's best to turn the machine off. We had to make the decision from there."

Ms Hine said the hospital had years to address failings after the initial concerns in 2008, adding: "I feel sorry for other mothers who are pregnant now. Worrying what's going to happen to them. They've had a long time to sort this out - 2008. It's just ridiculous."

Mr Bower said those responsible for the cover-up should be punished, adding: "I think it should be a criminal offence."

Ms Hine said: "I'm glad they've been named and shamed. I just can't believe they did that in the first place. It's just wrong. When babies' lives are at risk... I don't think they should work there. People like that shouldn't be working somewhere like that."

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