Has it been breached?
At a council meeting held in October 2007, Deborah Lee, former Director of Commissioning of NHS Bristol and now Director of Strategy at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust heard clinicians say that “the issue of the Pathology Services needs to be resolved” (Page 5). In response, she told the councillors that “All the issues raised could be resolved” (Page 7)
The Mishcon Inquiry Report, Page 113:
“Mr Pye therefore went to see Deborah Lee, Director of Commissioning at NHS Bristol, and discovered that this was the first that she knew about any concerns about the histopathology department at UHBT. “
Strange that she apparently forgot what happened 10 months earlier, in October 2007.
Deborah Evans, Chief Executive of NHS Bristol, told a member of SWWHAG in this letter dated 26th June 2009, that she did not know what gynaecological misdiagnoses had been referred to in a letter to former Medical Director Jonathan Sheffield.
Odd that Ms Evans seems to have forgotten that she had visited North Bristol NHS Trust two days earlier, on 24th June 2009, and obtained specific details of gynaecological and other misdiagnoses.
Appendix 2, Page 5.
Oh and then there’s all the references in the Mishcon report to her knowledge of the gynaecological misdiagnoses prior to 24th June 2009. Just do a word search on “Evans” and up they pop.
Dr John Savage, Chair of University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, was copied on this letter referred to in the Mishcon report:
2.31 In June 2008, shortly before she left Bristol, Dr Hirschowitz wrote to Dr Graham Rich, the then Chief Executive of UHBT asking him to investigate – “certain deficiencies that I have observed in the cellular pathology service at UBHT because that have serious implications for patient safety”
Strange then that Dr Savage apparently forgot to include the gynae. cases in the press release issued by UHBT a year later on 19th June 2009 announcing an inquiry into 15 cases of misdiagnosis. None of the 15 was a gynaecological case.
“Avon, Somerset and Wiltshire Cancer Services Network Meeting of Gynaecology SSG (Site Specific Group), Held on Friday, 12 June 2009 at 3.00 pm In The Brunel Room, Holiday Inn, Bristol Airport
JMurdoch (Mr John Murdoch, Chair of the Gynaecological SSG) referred to an article in Private Eye which alleges mis-diagnosis of a few lung cancers at UH Bristol. This is a sensationalist report which fails to present a balanced view. UHBristol have responded and to restore public confidence have commissioned an external review. NHS employees are advised to refer any enquiries to their respective press offices.”
The Murdoch statement was reported in Private Eye in September 2009, which noted that “In fact, many of the allegations are in his own area and the Trust has confirmed that ‘Mr Murdoch was aware of the serious allegations about gynaecology reporting in June 2008.’ Odd that he should not minute them a year later.”
One could be forgiven for assuming that amnesia seems to be a job requirement to work in the NHS in Bristol.
The UH Bristol review of 3,508 cases for 2007 that was commissioned to “restore public confidence” didn’t achieve its objective. It backfired because the result was that the overall error rate of the histopathology department was 11% versus an “acceptable error” rate of 1% .