This is a guest post by Hugh McCloy

Hugh has been a health & family law lobbyist since 2007 involved in groups including Save The Mid, RFFJ and, for a time, F4J. Hugh stood as an Assembly candidate in 2010 for Mid Ulster

The views expressed by Hugh do not necessarily reflect those of LAD

Edwin Poots has now brought in the NHS Chief Sir Liam Donaldson to head the NI health service review group.  At one time he was country’s most senior doctor and unexpectedly resigned. Chief medical officer Liam Donaldson surprised the NHS by stepping down after a reign which saw him accused of botching the training of junior doctors and orchestrating the response to swine flu.

Remedy UK, which represents junior doctors, said his resignation had come two years too late. They initially called on him to go after the introduction of a botched online application system for junior doctors, which led to hundreds of candidates not being interviewed for jobs. More than 15,000 doctors failed to find posts and some were forced to seek work abroad. Head of policy Dr Richard Marks said: ‘We were after his blood. His review of doctors’ training was done so ham-fistedly and it was rushed. We were very annoyed that he messed up but refused to go. He was never independent enough of government. His number one loyalty was always to government than to doctors."

Is this the type of independent person who will review health in Northern Ireland, or will he do what the government wants him to do?

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In the Northern Trust there have been even more changes recently

Mary Hinds has returned to the Public Health Agency after a major discussion with Edwin Poots, regarding the decision not to admit publicly that more deaths have been pinned on the Northern Trust. After all this time has Mary finally brought her nursing skills to the management table and asked for accountability into deaths, and if so the why has Edwin Poots stopped this?

Within the Trust Dr Calum MacLeod was introduced as a Medical Director but after a short spell in the role disappeared when the news of the deaths started to break in the media. At the time they were citing ill health, which seems a reasonable enough excuse, as trying to keep the lid on deaths in the Trust can be no easy job. One suggestion is that he faced a vote of no confidence by medical consultants and was therefore removed.