Kevin Barron (Rother Valley, Labour)
I was contacted by a mother whose son’s operation was cancelled, and it had also been delayed on two previous occasions for other reasons. Given this unedifying situation, in which the two leading clinicians who advise on these areas for the NHS have lowered themselves to saying whether they would send their child to this unit for an operation, what advice should I give to my constituent?
Jeremy Hunt (South West Surrey, Conservative)
I am certain that the right hon. Gentleman’s constituent would not want surgery to proceed anywhere in the NHS if there are question marks over its safety. Of course, when such decisions are made in a very short period of time, it is greatly discomforting and worrying for the many families involved, who have enough to worry about anyway—I completely understand that. He should remember, however, how we in the NHS let down the families in Bristol and Mid Staffs by not acting when data suggested that there might be a problem. It is better to act quickly and decisively and then, if possible, to resume surgery, as happened on this occasion, than not to act at all and to find out later that we have been responsible for much, much worse outcomes.
Don’t think Jeremy Hunt gave the advice that was asked for there did he ?
You might have to try again Kevin. We don’t always get the required response first time around from those in authority !