The Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman has said it is “fully cooperating” with the Kirkup Inquiry into failures Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust.
Last month HSJ reported the ombudsman would not be able to provide all of the information requested by the independent inquiry team due to restrictions on sharing personal data.
However, the ombudsman has told HSJ its staff are helping the team to locate information from other sources.
Last month James Titcombe, whose son Joshua died at the hospital, revealed the Ombudsman had refused to provide some information to the inquiry. This prompted Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock to write to health secretary Jeremy Hunt urging him to find a way to allow the PHSO to provide evidence.
The ombudsman has faced criticism over its handling of complaints about care at Morecambe Bay, leading to changes to how it investigates complaints.
Dame Julie Mellor, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, told HSJ they were “fully co-operating” with the inquiry.
“We have already had discussions with the investigation team about how we might help them obtain the information they have asked for. We are either providing it ourselves, or directing the investigation team to where they may obtain it.”
She added: “We are unable to release some information due to the Data Protection Act provisions protecting the personal data of complainants and our statutory bar. We have informed the investigation team of this and we have offered to help them source this information directly from the individuals.”
Chair of the inquiry Bill Kirkup has said he will investigate the role and actions of regulators and commissioners as well as the trust itself following a number of maternal and infant deaths at Morecambe Bay between 2004 and 2008.
Information supplied to HSJ