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Bristol inquiry reveals lack of data on service quality

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 29 May 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:1439
  1. Clare Dyer, legal correspondent
  1. BMJ

    The chief medical officer of the Welsh Office went to see the civil servant responsible for regional hospital services to raise concerns about children's heart surgery at Bristol Royal Infirmary as long ago as 1986, the public inquiry into the Bristol service heard last week.

    Professor Gareth Crompton, now retired, visited Dr Norman Halliday, medical secretary of the supraregional services advisory group at the suggestion of Sir Donald Acheson, then chief medical officer at the Department of Health, with whom Professor Crompton had raised the issue informally. Professor Crompton told the inquiry that there was an “undercurrent of dissatisfaction” with Bristol, where children from south Wales were referred.

    Concern had been raised by Professor Andrew Henderson of the University of Wales College of Medicine, the senior cardiologist at Cardiff, although consultants in Gwent were generally happy to refer children to Bristol. The inquiry …

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