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North East Ambulance Service: Cover-up claims to be probed by government

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The government is to investigate claims an ambulance service covered up details of the deaths of patients following mistakes by paramedics.

It follows the Sunday Times report that North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) withheld information from coroners.

Labour's shadow health secretary Wes Streeting described the alleged cover-up as "a national disgrace".

Health minister Maria Caulfield said she was "horrified" and there would be a further investigation.

The newspaper reported that concerns were raised about more than 90 cases and whistleblowers believed NEAS had prevented full disclosure to relatives of people who died in 2018 and 2019.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Streeting asked why the regulator - the Care Quality Commission (CQC) - had failed to take action.

Ms Caulfield said that while both the NEAS and the CQC had both reviewed the allegations, further investigation was required.

The minister said non-disclosure agreements have "no place in the NHS", adding: "Reputation management is never more important than patient safety."

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Source: BBC News, 23 May 2022

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