A report by the Public Accounts Committee has criticised NHS England for its handling of the huge loss of clinical correspondence that put thousands of patients at risk.
The report finds NHS England has not done enough to check that all of the estimated 100,000 patients affected were not harmed.
It also criticises the Department for Health’s lack of oversight of NHS Shared Business Services, the private company responsible for mislaying the documents.
This important report addresses one of the biggest failures in the NHS in recent history – one which has caused untold emotional distress and adverse health outcomes for thousands of people.
It is bitterly disappointing that at the time of writing there are still so many unknowns, both about the true scale of the damage done and the steps being taken to ensure this doesn’t happen again.
We need to see concrete plans to ensure all clinical correspondence is properly handled, and confirmation that every patient affected will receive a proper assessment of whether they were harmed.
The Health Secretary must provide the necessary oversight and resources to ensure the committee’s recommendations are taken forward as a matter of urgency.