• Phil Austen-Jones

Dear Leo Docherty MP - Why did you assume the West Hampshire CCG were telling the truth?

With the horrific challenges I have faced with West Hampshire CCG and Hampshire County Council regarding my wife’s NHS Continuing Healthcare, I eventually decided to get my MP involved – Leo Docherty.

What could possibly go wrong?

Initially, contacting Leo Docherty MP was a positive experience. He wrote letters to West Hampshire CCG and internal emails show that the CCG knew that it was important to reply.

As things deteriorated with the CCG, I had a meeting with Leo Docherty MP at one of his constituency surgeries. I presented some of the evidence of lies, unlawful actions and misleading statements. It was through this meeting, the CCG eventually agreed to have an additional meeting with me, with caveat that they would ignore any failures in process and continue with the reassessment of eligibility. (My next blog will focus on that meeting.)

A few additional emails were exchanged between Leo Docherty MP and the CCG. The serious issues start here.

5 March 2019 – Letter to us from Leo Docherty MP

“Separately, health professionals are required by law to hold a Multidisciplinary Team Meeting. While I understand your reluctance to engage with this, I would urge you to reconsider and take part because I believe it would be your advantage to do so.”

Dear Leo Docherty MP, The law (Standing Rules s21(2)(b)) does not permit a Multidisciplinary Team Meeting to be held unless eligibility is in doubt. The CCG misled you about the circumstances, which included fake guidelines, unlawful processing of data, altering outcomes and lies.

14 March 2019 – Email from Ciara Rogers (Deputy Director for NHS Continuing Healthcare at West Hampshire CCG) to Heather Hauschild (Chief Officer) and Ellen McNicholas (Board Nurse involved in our case) containing her response to questions from Leo Docherty

“The CCG invited the family to the Multidisciplinary Team Meeting on 20 March 2019 and it is our preference that they fully participate.”

“The Multidisciplinary Team Meeting on 20 March has been postponed as the Austen-Jones’ have instructed the agency delivering the care not to provide the seizure records to the CCG. …The CCG is seeking advice on whether or not [the care agency] can withhold the records as the CCG is funding the care.”

Dear Leo Docherty MP, the CCG did not invite us. We knew nothing about it. They phoned us on 27 February 2019 to book the MDT. Before any discussion on dates, I informed them that they were breaching data protection law by even having this conversation as GDPR Article 17 and 18 requests were in force. Following the phone call, we reinforced the withdrawal of consent until the accuracy of records / deletion were verified. You should be deeply troubled that the CCG is negligent of data protection laws or wilfully ignores it. Just as well we told the care agency that we did not consent for them to release the records.

18 June 2019 – Letter to us from Leo Docherty MP

“In the meantime, I understand you have been advised that a Multi-Disciplinary Meeting will also take place but that you are reluctant to share recent care records with the result that decisions on future eligibility will not be based on all the available evidence. I must emphasise again that a review is a legal requirement.”

Dear Leo Docherty, I must emphasise again that you clearly do not know the law and are ignoring all the available evidence when you assume that the CCG are being open, honest and transparent with you. Why are you not concerned that the CCG is unlawfully trying to obtain information when there are clear restrictions in processing?

21 June 2019 – Letter to us from Leo Docherty MP

“I must repeat that a review of your wife’s eligibility is required by law, and while it is to be hoped of course that your assertions about a negative outcome from the Multi-Disciplinary meeting will not be confirmed, nevertheless a decision will be made on the basis of all the available evidence. Therefore I would urge you to make available all recent care records.”

Dear Leo Docherty MP, I must repeat that a review of my wife’s eligibility in these circumstances would be unlawful. Why are you urging me to share documentation when there are GDPR restrictions in place?

26 June 2019 – Email from us to Leo Docherty MP

“However, we are deeply saddened by your continued statements to us that the process we have received has a legal basis. I have just spoken to Elizabeth Johnston [his parliamentary aide] who has informed me that you were advised this by the CCG and there is no reason to challenge this. Considering everything we have told you about the case, we find it staggering that you are simply taking the word of the CCG when the legal basis and informed consent are at the core of our case.”

Response from Leo Docherty MP



Dear Leo Docherty MP, Core failings in the Gosport War Memorial Hospital Scandal (where a much-loved family member of mine was a victim) included organisations believing the word of the NHS without question. Your organisational bias in our case has caused on-going harm to me and my family. By failing to admit your mistake, what does this say about your morals and priorities?

To further understand the actions / failings of Leo Docherty MP, I submitted a Subject Access Request for all records that he used to determine that it was a requirement in law that my wife’s eligibility was reassessed. There was nothing to back up his claim other than the statements of the CCG. Organisational bias at its best.

Why I continue to fight my case

The reason is simple. Without medical supervision, my wife will die and I refuse to let that happen. I will challenge every individual and every organisation that defends the actions of the CCG when, like Leo Docherty MP, they simply parrot back the misinformation and lies of the CCG.

There will always be major issues in the NHS if politicians bury their heads in the sand when patients are being harmed rather than seek ways to improve.


I sent this in advance to Leo Docherty MP to provide him the opportunity to raise any issues about the factual accuracy of this blog post. He has not advised me of any errors.

During the course of this week, Leo Docherty MP has become the new Veterans Minister. If my experience is anything to go by, I fear for any veteran who seeks his support when they are challenging the ‘establishment’. Leo Docherty MP demonstrated in my case that he will believe anything said by people in a position of power.

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