North Staffs NHS Trust Responds !!!
They have issued the following statement:
The Trust has been in communication with Mr John Hemming MP about his concerns relating to research carried out by Professor David Southall and colleagues.
Mr Hemming has made a number of allegations that officers of the Trust have behaved unlawfully and has made repeated statements of his intention to issue Judicial Review proceedings against the Trust. However the Trust, acting on the advice of its solicitors, has explained to Mr Hemming that it cannot lawfully take the steps that the MP has requested in relation to the confidential information in Special Case Files.
The Trust has asked to meet Mr Hemming to seek to explain that, as long as the Trust is holding the files, it will abide by all its legal duties regarding the confidential information in the files. The MP has not yet responded to that offer.
The Trust has not threatened to sue Mr Hemming but has reserved the right to recover the costs of responding to any legal action so the money can be spent on patient care.
However, the Trust would much prefer Mr Hemming to meet its directors to discuss his concerns and to have an opportunity to explain that the Trust is behaving entirely properly and in accordance with its legal obligations.
Being a simple minded soul I thought that meant that "the Trust would much prefer Mr Hemming to meet its directors". So emailed them asking if they will now talk to me and got the response:
----- Original Message -----
From: Lovatt, Sue
To: John Hemming MP (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sent: Friday, December 29, 2006 4:08 PM
Subject: RE: UHNS
Dear Mr Hemming
Thank you for your email. Our approach on this matter is as in Kristina Taylor’s letter to you of 6th December 2006.
University Hospital of North Staffordshire
From: John Hemming MP (email@example.com) [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: 29 December 2006 11:38
To: Lovatt, Sue
Are UHNS willing to talk to me directly now or do I still have to write to the lawyers?
So the response from the hospital is that they don't want to talk to me directly, but only through the lawyers and they want to charge me for the time spent by the lawyers on talking to me. I am not quite sure what planet this organisation is on.