• Andy Burnham, Shadow Secretary for Health
  • Charlotte Leslie, Health Select Committee, House of Commons
  • Christina McAnea, Head of Health, Unison (Trades Union)
  • Dr Max Pemberton, Psychiatrist and editor of Spectator Health
  • Steve Melton, Chief Executive of Circle
  • Chairman: Alastair Stewart, journalist and newscaster


Question to Mr Andy Burnham from Dr Max Gammon MBBS MRCS

Mr Burnham you were Secretary of State for Health from June 2009 to May 2010. During that time you rejected 81 requests for investigation of The Mid-Staffs Hospital where over a four year period there were up to twelve hundred deaths due to neglect and abuse – a death from neglect or abuse almost every day. Some died of starvation others of thirst so intense that they were drinking water out of flower vases. Others were left lying in their own excrement crying for help. But you chose not to listen. Doctors and nurses who complained were bullied into silence by the management. And your department instructed the Care Quality Commission to issue (here I quote) “a largely positive” report on the hospital. You gagged the inspectors. Hansard records that you and most of the Labour party voted against a Public Inquiry into the Mid Staffs scandal.

Even after you were no longer in government you had not finished with Mid-Staffs. Last year,as Shadow Minister of Death – sorry, Shadow Minister of Health – a shadow certainly – you mocked the dead by saying that “it would have been better if the report into the deaths at Mid Staffs had never been published.” My question to you Mr Burnham is:
Why have you been so determined to cover up the truth about Mid Staffs Hospital?

Dr Max Gammon resigned from the National Health Service as a Registrar in Cardiac Surgery in 1971 in order to develop an Independent Teaching Hospital as a model for an alternative to the NHS for financing and delivery of medical care. He headed a team which included: Sir Ernst Chain, Sir Keith Ross (cardiac surgeon) and Andreas Whittam-Smith (later to found The Independent Newspaper). Detailed planning and financial feasibility studies, which took seven years to complete, proved the project to be viable but its realization was blocked by Government and the Department of Health which considered that it would be harmful to the interests of the NHS. While working on the St Michael’s Hospital project Dr Gammon was also engaged in operational research – see: Google – Max Gammon Bureaucratic Displacement.

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