An MP has called for a change in the law to ensure medical professionals are as open as possible about the reasons why failures occur. Jonathan Evans raised the case of Robbie Powell, who died aged ten from a rare but treatable condition.
A series of investigations into the handling of the case were described as a 'catalogue of errors' in a review last year. Conservative MP Jonathan Evans who's long campaigned with the Powell family said the time had come to introduce a law requiring a 'duty of candour' in such cases.
The First Minister has publicly apologised to the family of Robbie Powell, the 10 year old from Ystradgynlais who died after his treatable condition was not diagnosed. His parents have campaigned since his death in 1990 for lessons to be learnt and for what they consider to be justice for Robbie.
Robbie and his family have clearly been failed, let down badly, by a system that should have been there to protect them. Having read this report it justifies their anger. They are owed an apology. Although Robbie’s death occurred in 1990, long before the National Assembly for Wales was established, on behalf of the Welsh Government I apologise to Mr and Mrs Powell for the failings in the system which led to Robbie’s death and for the inadequate explanations that were subsequently offered to the family.
– First Minister Carwyn Jones AM
Mr Jones was presenting to AMs the findings of an independent investigation that he announced in December 2010. He said a full public inquiry was not possible because the Home Office and the Attorney General's department did not support a joint inquiry that covered non-devolved matters.
The report calls for lessons to be learnt on how information is shared between doctors. The First Minister said there will be a statement later this year. He said he would also be writing to Dyfed Powys Police to ask why immunity from prosecution was granted during their investigation of the case.