Over a year ago a report setting out the findings and recommendations of the public enquiry chaired by Robert Francis QC into the dreadful events at North Staffordshire Hospitals, was published. The public will be forgiven for having assumed that following such an in-depth enquiry, events of equal seriousness could not – would not – be repeated.

So the publication earlier this month of an independent report concerned with equally worrying events at the maternity unit of Furness Hospital will be very shocking. It is referred to as the Morecombe Bay Investigation. It has been reported that a very significant number of babies died at the Hospital following what one paper referred to as “turf wars” between doctors and midwives. There are understandable calls for a public enquiry like the one chaired by Robert Francis.

What is important now is that public confidence in certain aspects of NHS hospital care should not be shaken by these events. No doubt the findings of the report will be pored over carefully and it is to be hoped that any recommendations are acted upon.

Finger pointing is not the main objective. I don’t think the public’s main concern will be to apportion blame. The public will want to know what went wrong, why it went wrong and to decide what changes need to be made to prevent similar events from taking place at any other hospital in the future.

It is also important that doctors and nurses who discover that things are not taking place as they should, are not muffled or discouraged from speaking up. “Whistleblowing” is necessary and important. The solution is not to discourage them from speaking up but rather to prevent problems from arising in the first place.