Health Secretary confirms independent review into North East Ambulance Service over cover up claims

The North East Ambulance Service said it welcomed "independent scrutiny". Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

Sajid Javid has confirmed there will be an independent review into claims the North East Ambulance Service covered up details about patient deaths after mistakes by paramedics.

The Health Secretary made the announcement as he responded to questioning by Labour's Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting in the House of Commons on Tuesday 14 June.

Mr Streeting said: "It is now weeks since he was warned about the negligence, the cover-up, the bribing of whistleblowers to stay silent about the scandals at North East Ambulance Service. Since then, he has done precisely nothing to investigate that scandal."

Mr Javid replied: "We will be having an independent review and the NHS has agreed to do that."

Sajid Javid announced a review would be carried out in the House of Commons. Credit: PA

There have been calls for a public inquiry, though it does not appear this review will be at that level.

The government has not provided any more information.

There has previously been a review of the allegations carried out by NHS England.

Last week, the Health Secretary said: "I am not satisfied with the review that has already been done. We need a much broader and more powerful review."

Responding on Tuesday, chief executive of the North East Ambulance Service, Helen Ray said the trust welcomed a review.

She said: “Following recent concerns raised in the media and through some of our local MPs, we have been working closely with our regulators to ensure that there is full and transparent sharing of any learning from our internal investigations.

"We welcome this independent scrutiny which will make sure that the families we serve and our staff have the levels of assurance they need.

"As ever our main thoughts remain with the families affected."

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