James Titcombe OBE is Patient Safety Specialist at Datix Limited - a hospital incident reporting software company. He was previously, from October 2013 to March 2016, the National Advisor on Patient Safety, Culture & Quality for the Care Quality Commission.
Earlier in his career he was project manager in the nuclear industry. His baby son Joshua died at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust nine days after his birth at Furness General Hospital in November 2008. James refused to accept the initial explanations he and his wife were given for Joshua's death and made an official complaint about his treatment. He got no apology from the Trust until nearly 17 months after the event. In March 2011 a police investigation into Joshua's death was launched. It later included the deaths of 18 other babies and two mothers at the hospital. There was also an independent investigation by Dr Bill Kirkup into the maternity unit, which was described as 'seriously dysfunctional'. The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman eventually investigated the way his complaints had been dealt with and made recommendations which Titcombe supported, "in particular the need for honestly and robust incident investigation following avoidable harm or death in the NHS" using techniques for which staff were properly trained.
He draws heavily on his own experience in speaking about quality improvement in the NHS.
He was appointed an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours 2015 for services to patient safety.
In December 2015, his book Joshua's Story: Uncovering the Morecambe Bay NHS Scandal was published.