Bristol fails to igniteBMJ 2001; 323 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.323.7306.238 (Published 28 July 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:238
- Neville W Goodman, consultant anaesthetist (Nev.W.Goodman@bris.ac.uk)
Big bang report goes out with a whimper
In the end, Professor Ian Kennedy's report on the Bristol paediatric cardiac affair was a damp squib. Long awaited, all the evidence was known, all the solutions already discussed. The report was released, with strict control of the media, on Wednesday 18 July. The broadcast media covered it that afternoon; the newspapers the next day. There were no leaks, but what was there to leak? In marked contrast to his inflammatory response to the report on pathology services at Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool earlier this year, health secretary Alan Milburn was sombre, thoughtful, and placatory in his address to the House of Commons. Publication late on Wednesday made the report too late for both the main UK general medical journals, but that was the only fuel for the conspiracy theorists.
All the major national newspapers had stories, commentary, and editorials. For most it was front page, but …