Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Attached is the text of a letter that Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, and Charles Elphicke, the Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for St Albans, have sent to the Chairman of the West Hertfordshire Health Authority following his refusal to meet the Patients? Action Group, Charles Elphicke and Peter Lilley, to discuss their fears and concerns about the surgery carried out by Mr Lennox Kane.

    Professor Roy Swanston
    The Chairman
    West Hertfordshire Health Authority
    Tonman House
    63-77 Victoria Street
    St Albans, Hertfordshire AL1 3ER

    7 March 2001

    Dear Roy

    Thank you for replying to Charles Elphicke?s letters and my own telephone requests for a meeting with the Action Group of former patients of Mr Kane to discuss their concerns.

    You rightly accept that “these are serious allegations?. Already 27 patients are involved. There has not been a graver issue affecting local people?s health in recent years. The Authority has oversight over and influence upon the NHS Trusts and BUPA. So I am frankly astonished that the Authority and the Chairman and Chief Executive of the Hospital Trust are not prepared to meet the Patients? Action Group and ourselves until the inquiry is complete.

    All of us want to know what sort of inquiry is being carried out and by whom, what are its terms of reference, whether it is independent of the Trust or at least led by an independent figure, how long it will take and whether it will contact all those patients who were treated by Mr Kane and his team. Those questions need to be answered before the inquiry is undertaken not after it is complete.

    These are questions which only those at the top, with whom the buck stops, can answer. To suggest that the Patients? Action Group rely on the Community Health Council (which the government is soon to abolish) and wait for less senior officials from the Trust ?to make contact? is an abrogation of responsibility.

    I hope you will reconsider your decision.

    Yours sincerely

    The Rt Hon Peter Lilley MP, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden

    Charles Elphicke, Conservative PPC for St Albans