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Health chief’s U-turn on emails condemned
3:14pm Thursday 22nd August 2013 in News
Otley’s MP has criticised an NHS chief for going back on a pledge to reveal secret documents linked to the proposal to close Leeds children’s heart unit.
Earlier this summer NHS England chief executive, Sir David Nicholson, gave an assurance that five years’ worth of correspondence relating to the flawed safe and sustainable review of children’s heart surgery would be published.
But Sir David has now written to MP Greg Mulholland (Lib Dem, Leeds North West) to tell him that only certain, official e-mails will be made public - citing cost as the reason.
Mr Mulholland said: “When I quizzed Sir David in the public administration select committee meeting back in July, he categorically agreed to release all of the e-mails relating to the flawed safe and sustainable review. It is absolutely outrageous that his position has now changed.
“The e-mails requested by Councillor John Illingworth are paramount to understanding how the review was flawed, so that lessons can be learned.
“It was already farcical that it had taken this long for NHS England to release this information. To hear now that Sir David has backtracked on his promise represents a considerable U-turn and I strongly urge him to reconsider his position.”
NHS England has warned that it will take nearly another year, at a further £500,000 cost, to come up with fresh proposals to close some of England’s ten children’s heart units.
“The unit at Leeds General Infirmary had been earmarked for closure but was saved, at least temporarily, in June when Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt rejected the “flawed analysis” behind the recommendation.
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