Calls for investigation into hospital failings ‘cover-up’

SERIOUS FAILINGS Thousands of patients were affected by problem with the appopintments system used by the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust.
SERIOUS FAILINGS Thousands of patients were affected by problem with the appopintments system used by the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust.

Demands for an investigation have been made into efforts by health chiefs to withhold key details of serious failings which hit thousands of patient appointments at three hospitals.

Our sister paper, The Yorkshire Post, fought a year-long battle for reports into chaos triggered by a new patient administration system at the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs hospitals in Wakefield, Pontefract and Dewsbury.

Officials sought to suppress key details of the failures until they were ordered to make them public by the Information Commissioner.

Now Jo Cox, Labour prospective parliamentary candidate in Batley and Spen, has called on Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to investigate the trust, which is carrying out a major reconfiguration of services that will see the number of beds at Dewsbury’s hospital slashed.

She said: “These revelations are scandalous. The mistakes, failures and chaos are bad enough but the attempted cover-up that followed is deeply concerning.

“Patients were failed and the trust tried to hide what went on.

“If we can’t trust the trust on this, if they try to cover up something like this, then should we trust them about the case they made for the reconfiguration?”

Trust chief executive Stephen Eames said no patients came to harm over appointment delays.

He said: “Lessons have been learnt and all associated actions have been successfully completed. The CQC inspected outpatients departments as part of their 2014 review and a number of recommendations were included in their report. We have made significant improvements based on these recommendations.”