The NHS in Wales


SHA Cymru Wales was surprised to learn that Charlotte Leslie – a Bristol MP- has taken a sudden interest in hospital mortality rates in Wales. She had “uncovered” these by reading a letter from Bruce Keogh to Dr Chris George, a Welsh medical officer. What sparked this sudden interest is unclear. But was is clear is that she hasn’t understood the complexity of using data of this sort. (See her web site). She says she comes from a medical family,so might have been expected to understand these things.

SHA Cymru Wales has written to her as follows….

Dear Ms Leslie

Re: Correspondence from Sir Bruce Keogh to Dr Chris Jones

I have been asked to write to you to clarify your involvement in publicising the contents of a letter from Sir Bruce Keogh to Dr Chris Jones (NHS Wales) dealing with mortality rates in selected Welsh hospitals.

SHA Cymru Wales understands that Sir Bruce’s letter was from one medical colleague to another. It was not generally in the public domain. Your web site indicates that you “uncovered” this email. I would be pleased to learn how your “uncovering” of the email was effected.

If it was through the submission of an FOI request, what prompted your interest? May I receive for a copy of the FOI request submitted?

Was Sir Bruce aware of your interest in the details of his correspondence with professional colleagues and your intention to comment upon it? Did you seek his advice about any action taken by NHS Wales as a result of his letter?

I note the claim on your web site that “cover ups have cost countless lives under Labour” in  Staffordshire hospitals. I recollect Sir Bruce specifically emphasising that the mortality data could not be used to support such a claim. Nick Black has today repeated that view.  Are you aware of this advice, or do you dispute it? I would be pleased to receive confirmation that, having reflected on the matter as a responsible politician, you will be amending the copy on your web site accordingly.

A copy of this letter is being released to the media.

I look forward to your reply.

Yours sincerely

Prof Tony Beddow    Secretary   SHA Cymru Wales