PUBLIC governors overseeing the Morecambe Bay trust have called for the police to be called in over urology failings.

At an extraordinary meeting of the council of governors last night bosses of the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust faced a grilling about their response to concerns about urology services.

Issues were initially raised by consultant urologist Peter Duffy whose book Whistle in the Wind, published two months ago, highlighted significant clinical errors made by three former colleagues.

Governor Dave Wilton described the council’s ‘very serious concerns about the shocking revelations’ in Mr Duffy’s book.

The concerns relate to incidents involving consultants Kavinder Madhra, Ashutosh Jain and Muhammad Naseem. Mr Madhra resigned in October 2018 and Mr Jain and Mr Naseem are still employed by the trust.

Over the last few months a number of current patients have come forward to speak out about issues they have experienced regarding treatment from the urology department.

“We have major concerns about all this, including the allegations about the cover-up relating to the inquest into (Peter Read’s) death, which we believe are criminal,” Mr Wilton said.

Mr Read died at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary in 2015. A coroner ruled that mistakes made by Mr Jain and Mr Naseem contributed to his death. A coroner also said similar mistakes, involving Mr Jain and Mr Madhra, also contributed to the death of Irene Erhart from Walney in 2011.

The trust’s chief executive Aaron Cummins spoke openly about his regret that Mr Duffy was forced out of his job and admitted UHMBT should not have contested his employment tribunal case.

UHMBT had to pay up to £200,000 in legal fees and compensation after the employment tribunal found Mr Duffy was unfairly and constructively dismissed.

“You will not find, from us, a defensive position about what happened to Peter Duffy and the appropriateness and relevance of his reflection of his experience,” Mr Cummins said.

Mr Cummins, who was appointed as chief executive in 2018 and was previously finance director and deputy chief executive, said he had asked NHS England and NHS Improvement to commission an independent, external review into the trust’s urology department. The chief executive said he had ‘no doubt’ that Mr Duffy would be involved in the review.

“We have got an issue here,” he admitted.

“All the issues raised by the governors are fair and are all reflections of what we have heard in feedback from colleagues.”

While the governors acknowledged the 'excellent work' undertaken by the new trust's board they said they believed more needed to be done to tackle the issues within the urology department.

Governor George Butler, a former magistrate in Barrow, questioned why consultants - referencing Mr Madhra - had remained in employment at the trust despite being subjected to retraining and supervision.

“For me, reading that was just scandalous,” he said.

Mr Cummins said: “It is an imperfect system and we are tied to the processes as dictated by the NHS and representative organisations. We need to hold a mirror up to our organisation.”

Concerns about the protection afforded to whistle-blowers were raised by governor Lynn Slavin.

“People are not going to come forward if there is any fear of recrimination as shown in Mr Duffy’s book,” she said.