Hospital bosses ‘learn lessons’

HOSPITAL bosses have “learned lessons” after being accused of covering up a patient appointments fiasco.

Dewsbury & Mirfield MP Simon Reevell said he believed the need for transparency was understood after meeting with Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust chiefs on Tuesday.

It comes after The Press revealed in October 2013 problems with a new booking system.

Glaucoma sufferer Alan Wrigley, of Batley, had difficulties getting outpatient appointments at Dewsbury District Hospital.

Others complained of getting multiple letters, or none at all, and being unable to get through to a call centre.

The scale of the problem was revealed this week  after bosses fought for a year to keep it secret.

Thousands of patients failed to get appointments, received letters too late or when appointments were not due.

Mr Reevell said “duff legal advice” was given hospital bosses about withholding information.

He said: “They were told releasing a report which contained names of the patients affected would be a breach of the Data Protection Act.

“What they should have done is redacted the names and released the report to show there was nothing to hide.”

Mr Reevell raised these points with trust chief executive Stephen Eames on Tuesday.

He added: “They must be as transparent as possible. I’m confident a serious lesson has been learned.”

Labour rival Paula Sherriff was also due to quiz Mr Eames while Batley & Spen Labour candidate Jo Cox called for an investigation.

Mrs Cox said: “Patients were failed and Mid Yorkshire tried to hide what went on.

“The mistakes, failures and chaos are bad enough, but the attempted cover-up that followed is deeply concerning.

“I shall be writing to the Care Quality Commission and the Health Secretary (Jeremy Hunt) to ask that the Trust’s behaviour be investigated.”



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