Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin & Harpenden asked the Government in Parliamentary Question Time to set up an inquiry into allegations that a local consultant at Hemel Hempstead who had Parkinson’s Disease was allowed to perform operations. The Minister, describing the circumstances as extremely disturbing? promised to look into the matter.

    Excerpt from Hansard:

    Mr Peter Lilley ? (Hitchin & Harpenden): Although I accept that it is normally desirable to retain experienced and dedicated consultants in the NHS, will the Secretary of State set up an inquiry into why Mr Lennox Kane, a consultant gynaecologist at Hemel Hempstead who had been diagnosed with Parkinson?s disease was allowed to continue operating? Will the inquiry investigate the complaints of 27 of his women patients about the treatment they received? Will the right hon. Gentleman use his good offices to ensure that the chief executive and chairman of the health authority and the trust agree to meet the members of the action group that was set up to represent those patients before such an inquiry, not after, which is all they have agreed to at present?

    Mr Alan Milburn (Secretary of State for Health): The circumstances that the right hon. Gentleman describes are extremely disturbing. As I understand it, the trust is already reviewing the way in which the complaints were or were not acted upon. I promise him that I shall look into precisely the matters that he has raised with me

    Following the exchange, Peter Lilley said, ?I have made it clear in speaking to the Minister?s Private Office that the inquiry must be independent and that it must look beyond the specific complaints and recommend improvements to the way in which clinical standards are audited and the complaints procedures at Hemel Hempstead.