HC Deb 05 March 1998 vol 307 cc700-1W
Mr. Maclennan

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what investigation the Chairman of the Scottish Ambulance Service NHS Trust has made of concerns raised about management practices in the service; what conclusions and recommendations he has reached; and if he will make a statement. [33282]

Mr. Galbraith

Mr. Clarke has carried out what I believe to be an exhaustive investigation into the matters raised as I had asked him to do and has produced a Report dealing with them honestly and frankly. The Report has identified shortcomings of practice and procedure in relation to the handling of certain personnel matters. It recommends various changes that are designed to prevent any recurrence of these shortcomings. I met Mr. Clarke recently to discuss his findings and recommendations, which I have accepted in full. I know that the right hon. Member and other right hon. and hon. Members have been taking a close interest in this matter on behalf of constituents. I hope that those concerned will, on reading the report in its entirety, feel able to accept that their legitimate claims have been fairly and objectively dealt with. I have made arrangements for copies of the Report to be sent to the right hon. and hon. Members involved and the relevant constituents and for a copy to be placed in the Library of the House.

It has emerged in the course of the investigations conducted by Mr. Clarke that information provided by the Scottish Ambulance Service NHS Trust and used by the then Minister during the Adjournment Debate on 26 November 1996, Official Report, columns 239–48, was misleading. In the course of that debate secured by the then hon. Member for North Tayside the Minister of State stated in all good faith that the matter of Hepatitis B vaccine had not been raised by the hon. Member's constituent prior to her dismissal from the Scottish Ambulance Service. The matter was in fact raised on three occasions but for the reasons set out in paragraph 6.2.5 of Mr. Clarke's Report neither the Minister nor the House were made aware of this. I apologise to the House and I am also writing to both the then Minister of State and the then hon. Member for North Tayside.

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