Lamb calls for inquiry into political interference with NHS Medical Director

Liberal Democrat Health Spokesman Norman Lamb, has called for a Cabinet Office inquiry into reports that the Department of Health toughened up the language in a letter from Professor Sir Bruce Keogh to the BMA.

According to the Independent:

We now know that there was, indeed, collusion between Sir Bruce and the Department of Health during the drafting of the letter, from a series of emails obtained through a Freedom of Information request. In one, addressed to Sir Bruce, an unidentified civil servant wrote: “I have woven the points from my email earlier this morning into your letter.”

Norman said that the revelation raises serious concerns about potential political interference with the independent Medical Director of NHS England:

In cases like this it is crucial to establish who had involvement in something that risks further damaging the Government’s relationship with junior doctors. This cannot be done by the Department and I am calling for Sir Jeremy Heywood to set up a suitable inquiry that will command respect to look into this.

The Government has to urgently resolve the dispute with junior doctors and must also set up an cross party commission to confront the looming crisis facing the NHS and social care services so we can secure their future.

 

* Chris White is a member of the Liberal Democrat Voice Editorial Team, a Liberal Democrat Councillor from St Albans and Deputy Leader of the LGA Liberal Democrat Group.

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