Aaron Cummins, Chief Executive of University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) said: “I’m pleased that John Woodcock, MP, was able to meet with the Trust yesterday to discuss the concerns raised by a former employee, Consultant Urologist, Peter Duffy.
“Peter has raised serious safety concerns in his book and, while we believe all the clinical cases we can identify from the book have been investigated, we want to further reassure ourselves and the public that this has taken place and the necessary action has been taken.
“John has been very clear how he feels the Trust is viewed on this matter, appearing ‘closed’ and defensive’ with how we’ve responded to some media queries, particularly Freedom of Information Requests (FOI) and we respect that view.
“We have attempted to answer all questions in a timely and honest way in accordance with any applicable regulations and we will now be publishing all of our Urology media and FOI responses that we issue on our website. We have a legal and professional duty to maintain the privacy and confidentiality of patient and staff data, but we will keep such requests under constant review.
“There are a number of points I want to be clear on and repeat:
- We respect and support the work of our local media, it’s important that where concerns are raised and made public, that the press have the ability to ask questions and to scrutinise our responses.
- We support the MPs’ calls last week for an independent Public Inquiry or Investigation into the Urology services at the Trust, past and present. Furthermore, we have now written to NHS Improvement requesting that they consider commissioning such work.
- We remain committed to commissioning an independent review of our actions in response to the previous invited Review of Urology by the Royal College of Surgeons (2016) which we requested at the time due to concerns being raised within the department.
“I do apologise for anything that we have done that has caused any further concern for our public.
“I have written to every patient and family that we can identify in the book, offering to meet and support them with any further questions that they may now have. I have also written to Mr Duffy to request a meeting.
“I want to completely understand Peter’s full concerns and share further any new relevant information with him. I want all of our staff to feel confident and supported if they speak out and raise concerns and that they trust they will be listened to, and I can honestly see John’s point of view and why some people may not believe that to be the case.
“John and other MPs are rightly holding us to account to ensure appropriate action is being taken and I thank him for his time yesterday. We do still have a well-performing and safe Urology service at the Trust with dedicated and committed colleagues. If a Urology patient has any concerns please do not hesitate to contact our Patient Relations team on: 01539 715577.”