Named and shamed: Staff who covered up hospital report revealed

NHS secrecy under the spotlight
NHS secrecy under the spotlight
Ian Dunt By

Health bosses accused of covering up failures at a hospital which led to the deaths of 16 babies were named today, after a protracted battle over data protection rules.

The Care Quality Commission overturned legal advice barring the culprits from being named in a report published yesterday on investigation failure at Morecambe Bay.

Former chief executive of the Care Quality Commission Cynthia Bower resigned from her post at Skills for Health after being named.

Her deputy, Jill Finney, was also named as being "around the table" when the decision was made, as were current employees media manager Anna Jefferson and head of regulatory risk Louise Dineley.


Writing for Politics.co.uk, Tory MP David Morris said the blame for the culture of secrecy pervading the NHS had to be laid at Labour's door.

"The former chair of the CQC, Baroness Young, has made very serious allegations that ministers 'leaned on' her to 'tone down' criticism of NHS organisations," he wrote.

"Damningly, she revealed that political pressure peaked under current shadow health secretary's Andy Burnham's tenure as secretary of state. This is why Labour turned down 81 separate requests for a public inquiry into the Mid Staffs scandal."

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said the publication of the names was a "clear sign" the NHS was changing.

The quartet is understood to have been present at a meeting where it was agreed that a report criticising the CQC's inspection of Furness General Hospital should be deleted.

UK information commissioner Christopher Graham has insisted that the Data Protection Act should have no bearing on the release of the names because it was a clear case of public interest.

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