§ Mr. Chaytor
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidelines he has issued to NHS trust chief executives in respect of public statements by doctors working for trusts. 
§ Mr. Denham
On 25 September 1997, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State, then Minister of State for Health, wrote to National Health Service trusts and health authorities reinforcing guidance issued in Executive Letter (93)51—"Guidance for staff on relations with the public and the media". In his letter my right hon. Friend said that he wanted to ensure that any member of staff working in the NHS feels able to raise concerns about health care matters in a responsible manner without fear of victimisation.
The Department of Health issued further guidance to all NHS trusts and health authorities on 27 August 1999, following the coming into force of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998. Health Service Circular 1999/198—"The Public Interest Disclosure Act"—states that every NHS trust and health authority should have in place policies and procedures which comply with the provisions of the Act. A copy of HSC 1999–198 is available in the Library.