A campaigner has complained to the head of the NHS about delays in releasing emails about the temporary suspension of children’s heart surgery in Leeds.
Stuart Long has written to Sir David Nicholson as he has still not received the correspondence, more than two months after he requested it under the Freedom of Information Act.
Mr Long says he fears his request about for emails from NHS England medical director Sir Bruce Keogh about the controversy earlier this year is being “blocked”.
He said: “They are trying everything possible to stop publication.”
But NHS bosses insist they are providing the information, but the complexity meant it was taking longer than usual.
Mr Long submitted a Freedom of Information request on June 5 to NHS England, asking for all emails between Sir Bruce and “interested parties” over the pause in surgery in April.
Normally organisations have to respond within 20 working days, so by July 3.
However, he was told more time would be needed and was then given a date of August 16, but this was not met. No new date has been set yet.
In the meantime Mr Long requested the cost of answering his request, which revealed that £8,000 had been spent on legal advice answering Freedom of Information requests relating to Leeds General Infirmary.
A spokesman for NHS England, said: “NHS England is actively working to provide a full and proper response to all of the questions.
“It has taken longer than we expected to pull all of the information together due the nature and complexity of the request, for which we have apologised.
“We have kept the applicant in this case fully informed throughout the process and will be in a position to provide the details of the FOI very soon.”