Times uncovers the TRUTH
PUBLISHED: 17:39 10 June 2009 | UPDATED: 16:50 25 August 2010
A HEALTH care committee has finally handed over a list of invitees to a controversial meeting following a two-year battle to keep it secret. A Picture of Health (APoH), the committee behind a decision to close the A&E at Queen Mary s Hospital, Sidcup, (p
A HEALTH care committee has finally handed over a list of invitees to a controversial meeting following a two-year battle to keep it secret.
A Picture of Health (APoH), the committee behind a decision to close the A&E at Queen Mary's Hospital, Sidcup, (pictured above) had refused to hand over a list of attendees or invitees to an Emergency Medicine 'workstream' in 2007.
The meeting was the lynchpin of APoH's argument to close A&E and slash maternity services in Sidcup for favour of PFI hospitals in Bromley and Woolwich.
They claimed that '100 clinicians' gave a 'high level of consensus' to reducing services to two sites in south-east London - yet refused to provide evidence for these claims.
After repeated requests for information about the attendees to the meeting, the Times resorted to requesting the information in April last year under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
After APoH refused to hand over a list of attendees, the Times called for an independent review the following month into the decision.
But on June 9 last year, Richard Moss of the Greenwich NHS Teaching Primary Care Trust, ruled that although procedure had not been followed correctly, he upheld the decision not to disclose the information.
The Times then referred the decision to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) that took up the investigation.
Some nine months later, the ICO informed the Times that APoH admitted that they had NO proof of attendees of this meeting, despite claiming they did in their response to our initial request.
The Times then launched a separate request under the FOIA in March this year for a list of the invitees of the meeting. APoH confirmed that they had proof of 63 clinicians who had accepted the invitation to attend, later 53, not the 100 that they had claimed in their previous statements.
However, unsurprisingly they refused to hand over the list citing the same excuses as the previous request.
Undeterred the Times demanded an internal review and this time, NHS Greenwich, who took up the review confirmed last Wednesday that the information should be handed over.
On handing over the information to the Times, Clive Caseley of APoH wrote: "Although there is an arguable case for not releasing the information - and while the decisions not to release the information relating to your requests were taken in good faith and with good intent - on balance these decisions were not
THE LIST OF INVITEES TO THE MEETING
Queen Elizabeth's Hospital, Woolwich
Dr David Robson, former Medical Director of QEH. Now retired.
Dr David Sulch, Clinical Director, Acute MedicineQEH
Val Kelly, General Manager, Specialist MedicineQEH
Dr Judy Russell, Clinical Director, Specialist Medicine, QEH.
Dr Stephen Metcalf, Clinical Lead in Emergency Medicine, QEHDr Duncan Brooke Consultant in the Emergency Department, QEH
Dr Nic Ketley, Consultant Haematology / Oncology at QEH
Mr Kislaya Thakur, Consultant Surgeon,QEH
Mr Midhat Siddiqui, Consultant Surgeon,QEH
Anna Shasha, QEH
Jemma Wells, QEH
Helen Knower, QEH
Karen Servadel, QEH
Mr Nigel Perks, QEH
Dr Jane Burch, QEH
Dr Sharon Power, QEH
Dr Judy Russell, QEH
Dr Carl Shakespeare, QEH
Cathy Pullen, QEH
Alree Hunt, Maternity and Paeds, QEH
Dr Julie LordPaeds, QEH
Dr Vinay PaiPaeds, QEH, Now at Kingston Hospital.
Dr Alistair McNairSpecialist Med and Surgery, QEH
Mr Nikhil Sarangi, Urology and Andrology Consultant, QEH
Mr William Scott, Trauma and Orthopaedics Consultant, QEH
Dr SurenthiranClinical Support, QEH,
Dr James Wafula, Radiology (Clinical Support), QEH
University Hospital, Lewisham (UHL)
Nadeem Nayeem, Emergency Department Clinical Director UHL
Gabrielle Kingsley, Divisional Director, Medicine, UHL
Rebecca Carlton, General Manager, Medicine, UHL
John Miell, Clinical Director, Acute Medicine, UHL
Queen Mary's Hospital, Sidcup (QMS)
Dr M Hayder HassanEmergency Department Clinical Lead, QMS. Against the proposals.
Dr Gloria Yu,Associate Medical Director of Emergency Care, QMS
Dr Simon JonesAssociate Director, Emergency Care, QMS
Dr Charles Shee Chest / General Physician, QMS
Princess Royal University Hospital, Bromley (PRUH)
Ian StellEmergency Department, PRUH
Mr Prakash Sinha, Consultant Surgeon, Lead Cancer Clinician, PRUH
Joanne Cutting, Service Delivery Director, PRUH
Fiona Christie, Divisional Nurse Manager, Medicine / Emergency Department, PRUH
Jennie Hall, Acting Nurse DirectorPRUH