Downing Street's failure to contact Mrs Addis' family before releasing details of her case.

Downing Street did not seek the permission of any of the families involved, leading to accusations of hypocrisy because of Tony Blair's desire to protect his own family's privacy in refusing to reveal whether his baby son had been given the MMR jab.

No 10 says the families' complaints were already in the public domain.

Iain Duncan Smith's decision to make the case the centrepiece of his contribution to Prime Minister's Question Time on Wednesday without contacting the hospital.

Labour and the Whittington Hospital say the Conservatives have acted inappropriately.

Mr Duncan Smith said the family had already spoken to the hospital without success and had no one else to go to but him as the local MP of Mrs Addis' daughter. The Tories admit they did not contact the hospital in advance, but have failed to explain why.

The amount of detail revealed by the hospital about the case.

The Government had detailed accounts of the Addis case, ready to rebut Iain Duncan Smith's accusations when he confronted Tony Blair on Wednesday. Relatives protested that this breached the principle of patient confidentiality.

Guidelines issued by the Department of Health in 1996 say: "If a patient or former patient has invited the media to report his or her treatment the NHS body may comment in public but should confine itself to factual information or the correction of any misleading assertions or published comment. The duty of confidence to the patient still applies."

No 10 says hospitals regularly release details when patients complain to local newspapers over treatment.

The length of time it took the family members to visit Rose Addis after she was taken into hospital.

Mrs Addis' relatives failed to make it to the Whittington until Tuesday. Her daughter, Zena, said that she had been assured by the hospital that the situation was not serious.

The accusation that Mrs Addis refused to be treated by black nurses.

The suggestion from the hospital's clinical director that Mrs Addis had not wanted to be treated by "that kind of nurse" outraged the family and the hospital went some way towards retracting it yesterday.

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