NHS trust refuses to reveal email probe findings to Dalton dad
Last updated at 19:23, Friday, 12 October 2012
A GRIEVING Dalton father ridiculed in emails swapped by senior hospital staff has hit out after the trust refused to disclose to him the findings of their investigation into the matter.
James Titcombe was searching for answers over the death of his nine-day-old son, Joshua, in Furness General Hospital when he came across copies of the offensive messages.
The emails, sent between two members of staff at the hospital in 2010, came after the Dalton dad announced he was “stepping back” from his fight for justice.
One email said: “Good news to pass on re James T”, to which her colleague replied: “Has JT moved to Thailand? What is the good news?”
Mr Titcombe, whose wife comes from Vietnam, discovered the emails in August after lodging a request with the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, which runs FGH, for information under the Data Protection Act.
He complained to the trust and earlier this week received a letter from its chief executive, Jackie Daniel, saying an investigation had concluded.
However, Ms Daniel said she would not reveal the outcome of inquiry, or whether any disciplinary action had been taken.
One of the email senders still works for the trust and the other moved on last year.
“The trust will take any appropriate action necessary as a result of the findings of the investigation,” Ms Daniel said in her letter.
“Unfortunately, the trust is unable to give you any further information regarding any action taken due to its obligations under the Data Protection Act 1998.”
Mr Titcombe said it was with “sadness” and “regret” that he would now take the matter to the health service ombudsman for further investigation.
He said he was upset that “no explanation regarding the email was provided and no indication as to whether the staff involved themselves have offered an apology”.
Mr Titcombe said: “The trust has not confirmed if, during their investigation, other communications were considered offensive or whether the email in question was an isolated case.”
Ms Daniel did, however, issue an apology in her letter to Mr Titcombe for “any distress caused” by the “original email correspondence”.
“I would like to take this opportunity to apologise once again for any distress caused to you and your family by the original email correspondence,” she said.
“The trust expects all staff to act in a respectful, sensitive and professional manner at all times and any behaviour that does not meet these standards is considered to be unacceptable.”
First published at 16:21, Friday, 12 October 2012
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
I was under the impression NHS Trusts had a policy of 'Being Open'?
Does the data protection act not state that.. Any and all information held on the person physical or electronic should be made available to the person involved. Any other detail can be blanked out.... Think the NHS should have another read of the act and that Mr Titcomb should apply for ALL INFORMATION HELD ON HIM. They will be allowed to make a charge for this but it should only be costs. He will also be able to get all info held on his poor child.