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I wanted probe, says NHS watchdog official accused over deaths cover-up

BY Alex Diaz

A woman accused of helping to cover up the NHS watchdog's failure to investigate mother and baby deaths at a hospital since 2008 has claimed she in fact pushed for greater scrutiny.

Anna Jefferson (38) is alleged to have collaborated in the deletion of an internal review into inspections at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay (UHMB) while she was a Press officer at the Care Quality Commission.

She pointed to minutes which purportedly show that she called for an external inquiry after discussing the matter with former chief executive Cynthia Bower and her deputy, Jill Finney.

Ms Jefferson, who is on maternity leave from the regulator after having her first child, yesterday said: "I am feeling pretty alone and vulnerable after having done the right thing and pushed for greater scrutiny into how regulation had gone wrong.

"The report concluded that we would do it all again the same, which I found quite hard to accept – it felt like a whitewash.

"Having pushed hard to do the right thing I have now been dropped in this nightmare."

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