It is a legal requirement for an hospital (such as Royal Blackburn) to hold and maintain actual attendance records for each and every one of their Multi disciplinary team (MDT) meetings.
We have been attempting to get a copy of three such meetings that took place, in our dad’s case.
Royal Blackburn hospital’s HPB MDT chairman (Mr David Chang – lead cancer surgeon for Royal Blackburn and NSSG north west England cancer team chairman) has blocked each and every attempt we have made to obtain a copy.
Kevin McGee (CEO of East Lancashire Hospital NHS Trust) on the direction of David Chang, has also blocked every attempt made to provide us with a copy of these attendance records.
Senior Royal Blackburn hospital complaint staff have claimed they, “Didn’t know that actual HPB MDT attendance records exist, but we’ll try and get them for you” – then failed to respond ever again.
We have tried to get a copy through our MP Graham Jones and he has written to the Department of Health, again without success.
We have made Freedom of Information requests, where the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) have requested copies, they too have been blocked.
We have tried to obtain the copies through the medical records office at Burnley General Hospital, where we were told, “They [HPB MDT attendance records] do exist and we can put in a request for them, but to date, Royal Blackburn hospital senior staff have never released them, in any case!”
So we changed tack, perhaps if Royal Blackburn hospital will not release them to our family, then the Care Quality Commission (CQC) could confirm if they had followed their strict protocols and had the attendance records presented to them when they carried out two hospital inspections at Royal Blackburn hospital (as is required by law)?
They refused to confirm or deny this.
Perhaps the CQC could view the HPB MDT attendance records for the meetings concerning dad on our behalf and confirm/deny that the reported staff to us, were actually in attendance, as we have written evidence of whom was and was not present and the written accounts of David Chang and Kevin McGee were conflicting, to three different official bodies?
After months of deliberation, they passed all our complaint information to them (without permission) straight to… Kevin McGee (CEO of East Lancs NHS trust) and then refused to confirm or deny that they had access to the HPB MDT attendance records.
East Lancashire “Patient voices group” were informed after asking to look over the aspects of our complaint, they did not respond to the family, they instead handed over the details to Kevin McGee and then blocked my account on twitter!
After over a year of asking, senior Royal Blackburn hospital information office staff responded by informing the family that they were refusing to release the HPB MDT attendance records, due to,
“Processing is unwarranted by reason of prejudice to the rights and freedoms or legitimate interests of the individuals who would be identified.
The Trust has considered whether disclosure of the information would be fair”
Fair to whom?
All the family are asking is for copies of the attendance records of senior staff that diagnosed dad’s condition.
It is not relevant whom WAS at the HPB MDT meetings, but whom WAS NOT present at the meetings.
Kevin McGee and David Chang have made three reports of which professions were represented at dad’s HPB MDT meetings, every single one of them has been different and does not tally. (They cannot even agree on when the meetings took place for dad!)
Is this not in the public interest to know that East Lancs Health Trust chairman Kevin McGee and Royal Blackburn hospital’s HPB MDT chairman David Chang (and NSSG cancer network chairman) are making false and misleading statements to members of the public (which is a criminal offence)?
Are the CQC not concerned that each account by staff at the very top of East Lancs NHS trust conflicts?
Does the ICO not see anything wrong with their conflicting accounts?
Why does no official body want to see the evidence?
Why do Lancashire police not want to pursue the case when a crime is reported?
Why are Royal Blackburn hospital and East Lancs NHS trust going to such lengths to block the release of the HPB MDT attendance records if they have nothing to hide?
It is in the public interest to find out that Royal Blackburn’s MDT teams are understaffed.
It is in the public interest to know that Royal Blackburn’s MDT teams have unqualified staff, deciding diagnosis’ on patients, without the clinical knowledge/experience they require to have by law.
Publishing HPB MDT attendance records to a patient’s family may not be seen as ideal to those at the top, but as regards duty of candour, they are legally required to be open, honest and show integrity.
In dad’s case, they have failed on all accounts.