Ruling

Resolution Statement: Complaint 04767-15 Parkington v Manchester Evening News

    • Date complaint received

      24th August 2015

    • Outcome

      Resolved - IPSO mediation

    • Code provisions

      1 Accuracy

Resolution Statement: Complaint 04767-15 Parkington v Manchester Evening News 

Summary of complaint

1. Emma Parkington, acting on behalf of One to One (Northwest) Ltd, a private maternity company, complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that the Manchester Evening News had breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice in an online article headlined “Private midwife firm investigated over deaths of newborn babies”, published on 27 October 2014. 

2. The complainant said that at the time the article was published, One to One midwives was not being investigated by NHS England, as reported, and the babies concerned were not stillborn. In addition, she disputed that GPs in the region had been told not to refer women to One to One. She said before publishing the article, the newspaper had left one message on a member of staff’s mobile phone, but they had been away. No other members of staff had received requests for comment. 

3. The newspaper said NHS England had informed it that it was investigating One to One midwives with regards to two stillbirths. A high-ranking Manchester GP had informed the newspaper off-the-record that GPs across the region had been asked not to refer patients to the company. It said the reporter had called the company for comment several times before publication, and submitted an enquiry on its website, but no one ever got back to him. 

Relevant Code Provisions

4. Clause 1 (Accuracy) 

i) The Press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information, including pictures. 

ii) A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion once recognised must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and - where appropriate - an apology published. In cases involving the Regulator, prominence should be agreed with the Regulator in advance. 

Mediated outcome

5. The complaint was not resolved through direct correspondence between the parties. IPSO therefore began an investigation.  

6. As a gesture of good will, the newspaper offered to remove the article from its website. 

7. The complainant accepted the newspaper’s offer as a resolution to the complaint. 

8. As the complaint was successfully mediated, the Complaints Committee did not make a determination as to whether there had been any breach of the Code. 

Date complaint received: 27/07/2015

Date complaint concluded by IPSO: 24/08/2015