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Health: Murder of Patients

Volume 700: debated on Tuesday 25 March 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many reports and recommendations were published on the murder of patients by Dr Harold Shipman; what was the cost to public funds of these reports; and why the lessons drawn from the Shipman murders did not avert the murder of patients at Leeds General Infirmary by the nurse Colin Norris. [HL2525]

The Shipman inquiry published six reports with a total of 228 recommendations, at a cost to public funds of £21 million. The relevant reports were published after the offences at Leeds General Infirmary which took place in 2002.

Systems for protecting patients and the general public have been greatly improved in recent years and further improvements are under way in the light of the lessons learnt from the Shipman murders. However, as the Shipman inquiry itself pointed out, it will never be possible to guard completely against the criminal activities of a future Shipman, only to ensure that such activities are very quickly identified. I understand that the Yorkshire and Humberside Strategic Health Authority is arranging for an independent investigation of the events at Leeds General Infirmary and it would therefore be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.