News agency condemns police 'stonewalling' over questions about Mid Staffs NHS scandal

Staffordshire Police is declining to answer questions from journalists about the Mid Staffs NHS scandal apparently until after the general election.

News agency Central European News asked the force a series of questions about the 1,200 patients found to have died in avoidable circumstances at the hospital.

These included: “On what date did senior officers issue instructions that enquiries were to be made about potential criminal culpability at Stafford Hospital? What were the terms of reference, did they include the investigation of all relevant clinical staff, all administrators, and politicians to include the Secretaries of State for Health?”.

Staffordshire Police said it holds the information, but declined to release it pending the outcome of an official report which will be published in the next two months. It quoted an exemption under Section 22 of the FoI Act (informatio

Ken Cameron, from CEN, said: "The FOI request related to some basic facts about police enquiries following the publication of the Francis Report. The police have refused to deal with all of the requests for information until after the general election. This amounts to stonewalling which is against the public interest, and it appears to show contempt for the spirit and intention of Freedom of Information law." 

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