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Doncaster Hospital and the Cover Up

Shortly after the research called protocol 85.02 it was noticed that an unusually large number of children at Doncaster Hospital were brain damaged.

A written question was asked in the House.

17th December 1991 Baby Deaths (Doncaster)
Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the results of the epidemiological survey into the causes of brain damage to babies at Doncaster royal
infirmary will be complete ; with what other areas and hospitals it is being compared ; and if copies of the findings will be sent to the Doncaster Members of Parliament and the Doncaster community health council.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley: The Trent regional health authority has appointed two experts from outside the region to determine whether or not the occurrence of brain damaged births within the Doncaster district is comparable with other districts, and if necessary in the light of findings to make any recommendations. I understand that the study should be completed by March 1992. The hon. Member may wish to contact Sir Michael Carlisle, the chairman of Trent regional health authority, for details.

Also legal action was taken by Alexander Harris Solicitors against the health authority. My understanding of this case was that no evidence was found to explain why the babies came to have brain damage, but that compensation was paid because on the balance of probabilities it had to be some defect in the treatment of the babies concerned. There were no records in the medical files of the children concerned that explained the basis for the brain damage.

This was reported in the media back in 1992. The report that was produced came to the same conclusion as the litigation.


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R v SUSSEX JUSTICES ex p McCARTHY [1924] 1 KB 256

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R v SUSSEX JUSTICES ex p McCARTHY [1924] 1 KB 256

November 9 1923

Editor’s comments in bold.

Here, the magistrates’ clerk retired with the bench when they were considering a charge of dangerous driving. The clerk belonged to a firm of solicitors acting in civil proceedings for the other party to the accident. It was entirely irrelevant that there had been no evidence of actual influence brought to bear on the magistrates, and the conviction was duly quashed.

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