More than 300 extra nursing and midwifery staff will be recruited over the next three years; 35 more doctors; and 35 more allied health professionals including clinical therapists.
The funds will be used to boost staff numbers at the trust’s hospitals, including Royal Oldham, Fairfield in Bury, Rochdale Infirmary and North Manchester General.
Sir David Dalton, interim chief executive, told the Manchester Evening News: “As part of our improvement work, we have listened to our nursing staff who have told us that we need to increase our nursing and midwifery staffing levels on our wards to ensure staff are supported and that patients are getting the very best care they need.”
The shortage of qualified midwives and the absence of skilled paediatric care at the trust has been a particular concern, leaving parents devastated as a result of avoidable stillbirths and birth injuries to both mother and child.
Last year a review into the Pennine Acute Hospital NHS Trust revealed long-term failures that had caused “significant harm to women” and medical negligence on maternity wards that resulted in “high levels of harm for babies in particular”.
Among the disturbing findings of the internal review was the tragic discovery of a premature baby, born 22 weeks and six days into pregnancy, left to die alone in a sluice room. She had been born just before the legal age of viability, meaning she could not be resuscitated, but staff were unable to find a “quiet place” for the mother to nurse her as she died.
New management was brought in following a critical government inspection.
Lindsay Holt, a specialist clinical negligence lawyer at Slater and Gordon, said: “The additional investment follows a number of tragic cases which have arisen as a result of substandard care at the trust. Many of our clients have lost family members, suffered serious and often life-threatening injuries as a result of these failings, which are well documented by the coroner, the Care Quality Commission and the trust itself.
“The shortage of qualified midwives and the absence of skilled paediatric care at the trust has been a particular concern, leaving parents devastated as a result of avoidable stillbirths and birth injuries to both mother and child.”