CQC ‘conducting review’ into deaths of two children in hospital
The deaths were reported as serious incidents by the trust which carried out its own investigation.
It has the power to prosecute care providers if statutory regulations set down by the Government have been breached.
No details as to the circumstances surrounding the deaths or the individuals involved have been given publicly, nor whether they are connected.
Stockton North MP Alex Cunnningham, whose constituency includes the trust’s main hospital the University Hospital of North Tees, said he had been briefed by trust officials over the matter.
He said the deaths had occurred over the 2019/20 period.
Mr Cunningham said: “There was a full internal and external investigation and the CQC are reviewing everything that happened at that time as the protocol requires.
“There were two child deaths and all processes were followed.
“The issue is whether or not the decisions that were taken originally were correct and that is the routine review that is going on now.
“I’m sure the trust is in the right place with this, if I thought there was something awry I’d be bouncing off the ceiling.”
The CQC would not comment when contacted by the Local Democracy Reporting Service.
A spokesman for the North Tees and Hartlepool Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “The trust seeks to continue to learn from any incident and conducts a complete review where lessons can and should be learned.
“Where cases are ongoing, we are not at liberty to offer comment.”
In 2015 it was revealed the hospital trust was one of nine in England with higher than expected mortality rates with the Health and Social Care Information Centre, which compiled the data, stating its figures should be viewed as a “smoke alarm requiring further investigation”.
The trust’s medical director at that time, Dr David Emerton, said it was reviewing the care of all patients that die.
The Patients Association said higher than expected mortality rates had to be viewed in the context of an area’s levels of social deprivation and poverty.
The most recent CQC report on the North Tees and Hartlepool Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust rated it as being ‘good’ overall and it received the same good rating in all inspection categories – safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led.