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Fuller Inquiry Report

Volume 741: debated on Tuesday 28 November 2023

Today the report of the independent inquiry into the issues raised by the David Fuller case has been published. Sir Jonathan Michael updated the victims’ families earlier today.

This report follows two years of work by the independent inquiry, led by Sir Jonathan, investigating David Fuller’s shocking and depraved actions in the mortuaries of Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust.

I am very grateful to all those who provided evidence to the independent inquiry, especially the families who found the courage to share their experience of what happened to their loved ones.

The report makes for harrowing reading. It sheds a light on the circumstances surrounding David Fuller’s abuse, which regrettably meant that his crimes went undetected for a long period of time.

I want to profoundly apologise on behalf of the Government and the NHS and commit that lessons will be learned. We fully welcome the report, and will ensure that there is a full response to the recommendations in spring 2024 and that lessons are learned across the wider NHS so that no family has to go through this experience again.

A lot of work has already been done to review mortuary safety since these crimes were first revealed. NHS England required all NHS trusts with either a mortuary or a body store to review practices and ensure they are compliant with the requirements set out in the Human Tissue Authority’s standards and guidance. NHS trusts were asked to take action to ensure all access points to mortuaries or body stores are controlled by swipe card security access, ensure there is effective CCTV coverage monitoring access to and from mortuary areas, undertake risk assessments of mortuary security and ensure consistent application of appropriate levels of Disclosure and Barring Service checks for all trust and contracted employees.

However, we should not be complacent. It is important that the whole system remains alert and accountable at all levels and that any concerns are swiftly identified and escalated through the appropriate governance processes.

The report will be published on www.gov.uk and is available in the Vote Office (HC 310).

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