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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 March 2006, 16:50 GMT
BBC wins waiting list libel case
The BBC has won a High Court libel action brought by an NHS manager after claims she had been involved in manipulating waiting lists.

Marion Henry bought the action against the BBC over a report on regional news programme Points West in May 2004.

In the report, it was claimed that Ms Henry had been involved in the falsification of waiting lists at Weston General Hospital in Somerset.

At the High Court, Mr Justice Gray said she was "aware of" the manipulation.

The report followed the conclusion of an independent inquiry into allegations of falsifying waiting lists at the hospital.

'Manipulation of data'

The claims were made by former employee Michele Masson, a member of the team which handled the waiting lists, who turned whistleblower.

Ms Masson claimed that former managers knew of the manipulation and during the Points West report she named one as Marion Henry.

Mr Justice Gray said the overall likelihood is that "Mrs Henry was aware of and on occasion complicit in the manipulation of data".

He added former senior managers above the level of Mrs Henry "knew what they were doing was dishonest" and were "adept at covering their tracks".

The judge added that the case showed "institutional corruption within a public body which has gone unpunished".

In a statement, Mrs Henry's solicitor said: "She and her family are devastated by the judgement which she feels is fundamentally flawed."

Mrs Henry has signalled her intention to take the case to the Court of Appeal.

The BBC's John Maguire reports from the High Court


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