MP Charlotte Leslie says damning NHS reports 'suppressed'
BRISTOL MP Charlotte Leslie has called for an investigation into allegations that three reports on the state of the NHS were "suppressed" by the previous government.
Speaking at Prime Minister's Questions, the Bristol North West MP said in 2008 Labour had commissioned three reports to mark the health service's 60th birthday.
She added: "We now know those reports were damning and raised issues such as there being a dangerous target culture.
"We also know those reports were suppressed by the Labour Government. Had they not been suppressed, thousands of lives could possibly have been saved.
"Will the Prime Minister join me in calling for an investigation into who was responsible for suppressing those reports?"
David Cameron said he would "look carefully" at the issue she raised.
He added: "The whole point about the Francis report [into the Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust] is that we should use this as an opportunity to say, 'Yes, of course we support the NHS and its founding principles, but not everything in the NHS is right'.
"Where there is bad practice and where things are going wrong, we need to shine a very bright light on it and make sure not only that we deal with it but that we hold people to account."
Ms Leslie's call came after she tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) calling on NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson to resign for presiding over a "diabolical catastrophe" at Stafford Hospital.
The motion said Sir David ought to "face appropriate consequences" for the scandal in which up to 1,200 patients died needlessly.
The resignation demand is at odds with the Prime Minister, who recently repeated that Sir David had his full backing and was "doing a very good job".
But Ms Leslie's motion notes "great concern" with the findings of the Francis Report, particularly the "avoidable" deaths.
It also calls "for Sir David Nicholson to resign… given his previous role as chief executive of West Midlands Strategic Health Authority, which had overall responsibility for Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust during the period investigated in the Francis Inquiry".
Kingswood MP Chris Skidmore, pictured, who will question Sir David at the Health Select Committee next month, said what happened at Mid Staffs was "comparable to Hillsborough". He added: "If I was in his position, I would go."