Select Committee on Health Written Evidence

Memorandum by Dr Jack Dummer (MMC 54)


  I am a British citizen and a UK-trained medical doctor currently studying as a PhD student in New Zealand. I am also a member of RemedyUK.

  I was prompted to write to you regarding Sir Liam Donaldson's response to a very pertinent question: Sandra Gidley MP asked him if he thought he should have resigned as CMO given that he was the architect of MMC. Key to his answer was that, " . . . the principles and policy [of MMC] were commended in the Tooke report . . ."

  His answer is relevant to the first of your inquiry's terms of reference (whether the principles underlying MMC are sound) as well as being critical to Sir Liam's defence of his decision not to resign. I am concerned because, having searched the Tooke Report for any commendation of MMC principles and policy, I have found none. Rather, Sir John Tooke stated that they were unclear and had detrimental consequences:

    " . . . the precise policy objectives of MMC do not appear to have been definitively stated at any point nor agreed by key stakeholders." (4.1.1, Page 38)

    "The inquiry has revealed that the development and implementation of MMC has been hampered by a lack of clarity regarding the policy objectives and guiding principles . . ." (5.1, Page 84)

  It is possible that I have missed the commendation to which Sir Liam Donaldson referred but I think it highly unlikely that Sir John Tooke would have commended any policy or principle that lacked clarity or was never definitively stated.

  It appears to me that, at best, Sir Liam made a careless slip of the tongue. At worst, he deliberately misled the Health Select Committee in order to preserve his position as Chief Medical Officer for England. I hope you will carefully consider this part of his oral evidence.

Dr Jack Dummer

21 November 2007

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