Health watchdog appoints new lead investigator

Person who chaired reports into Jimmy Savile and University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust gets role with health service ombudsman

The organisation in charge of making final decisions about serious complaints against the NHS has appointed a new lead associate investigator.

Bill Kirkup has been appointed by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman to oversee the most serious and complex cases – usually where harm or death resulted – which are brought to its attention.

Dr Kirkup chaired investigations into the deaths of mothers and babies at Furness General Hospital in 2013, and into the conduct of Jimmy Savile at Broadmoor Hospital.

Four out of every five cases brought before the ombudsman involve the NHS.

Complaints are brought to the ombudsman when they have not been resolved at a local level, by NHS England or by other UK government departments.

Ombudsman Julie Mellor said: 'Dr Kirkup’s appointment will provide additional investigative expertise and confirms our ongoing commitment to providing the best possible service to the public.’

Dr Kirkup said of his role: 'It's a very important area that it is vital to get right, and I hope to be able to contribute to that.'

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