Spring 2001 Issue 13
Previous issues -
Issue 1 - December 1998
Issue 2 - February 1999
Issue 3 - March 1999
Issue 4 - April 1999
Issue 5 - May 1999
Issue 6 - June 1999
Issue 7 - August 1999
Issue 8 - October 1999
Issue 9 - November 1999
Issue 10 - March 2000
Issue 11 - May 2000
Issue 12 - Autumn 2000
Message from the Chairman
I wanted to bring you up to date with progress on the Inquirys Report. Since the conclusion of Phase Two of the Inquiry at the end of March 2000 and the publication of the Interim Report Removal and retention of human material in May 2000, I have been working with my colleagues on the Panel and the Inquirys team to analyse the evidence, reach our conclusions and write our recommendations. As you can imagine, we recognise the significant responsibility placed on us.
We have applied ourselves to the first part of our Terms of Reference:
To inquire into the management of the care of children receiving complex cardiac surgical services at the Bristol Royal Infirmary between 1984 and 1995 and relevant related issues; to make findings as to the adequacy of the services provided; to establish what action was taken both within and outside the hospital to deal with concerns raised about the surgery and to identify any failure to take appropriate action promptly
But, we recognise also, the importance for the future of the NHS of the second part of our Terms of Reference:
To reach conclusions from these events and to make recommendations which could help to secure high quality care across the NHS
Reaching conclusions across such a broad area is a lengthy process and has taken longer than we originally anticipated. For this I apologise. We all want to bring the Inquiry to a close as quickly as possible. But we also know our task cannot be rushed.
We would like to thank all the parents and other individuals and organisations who have contributed evidence to the Inquiry. To those most affected by the Inquirys work, we would like to say thank you for your patience in waiting for our Final Report.
May I also reinforce earlier statements made by the Inquiry. This is, and has always been, an independent Inquiry, carried out openly throughout. We will continue to keep everyone informed of our progress in the usual way through our website, our newsletter and news releases.
As soon as the Inquirys Report is completed it will be passed to the Secretary of State, and a broad indication given as to the likely timing of publication.
This has been a long journey for everyone involved; a great deal of hard work has been done and we are nearly at the end. I am confident that the Final Report will reflect the scale and importance of the task.
Professor Ian Kennedy
The Inquiry welcomes the publication of the Chief Medical Officers (CMO) Report: The Removal, Retention and Use of Human Organs and Tissue from Post-mortem Examination, published on 30 January 2001.
Last year, in response to a request from the CMO, the BRI Inquiry Panel completed their study on this matter: Removal and retention of human material, * published in May 2000.
The study was an additional piece of work undertaken by the Inquiry, not contemplated within the original Terms of Reference.
This report was produced so that the CMO was able to consider the BRI Inquirys recommendations before putting his own recommendations to the Secretary of State.
The Inquirys Panel was pleased to see that many of their recommendations had been taken into account and incorporated into the CMOs Report.
The BRI Inquiry Panel does not expect to revisit this subject in their Final Report.
* Copies of the Inquirys Interim Report and Annexes
Removal and retention of human material can be found on the Inquirys website at
Printed copies are still available by contacting the Inquiry offices in Bristol.
Head of Communications
on: 0117 938 8716.
Several major pieces of work have been concluded and submitted to the Panel over the past few months.
These papers and reports have been published on the Inquirys website (on the Statistical Evidence, Expert Group and Clinical Case Review pages) and together with all other evidence submitted to the Inquiry will be taken into account by the Panel in developing their conclusions and recommendations.
No comment will be made on the evidence, conclusions or recommendations until the publication of the Inquirys Final Report later this year.
It will be published in printed form and on CD. The Report will be accompanied by a Summary and two annexes, both on CD.
The Report itself will have two sections:
* The Bristol Story, and
* The Future
Annex A will be an account of the evidence about Bristol presented to the Inquiry during its first phase; Annex B will include expert reports on statistics, the clinical case note review and other expert commentaries.
The Report and its annexes will also be published on the Inquirys website, which we expect will remain indefinitely as a source of information following the conclusion of the Inquiry.
Prior to the publication of the Inquirys Final Report, work has been going on behind the scenes to revamp the Inquirys website to allow easy access to the Final Report and Annexes.
The overall design of the website will not change. The familiar layout with the use of buttons and links will remain the same. However, once the new site is launched, later this year, visitors will notice a few changes.
Much of the information currently available on the website, which has been published during the course of the Inquiry, is being incorporated into the Annexes of the Final Report. Therefore, it is necessary to re-group this material under different headings.
Visitors will still be able to view all of the existing material by selecting either: Interim Report, Evidence, Inquiry Seminars or About the Inquiry. The Search facility remains and assistance with navigating the site can be found on a new Help page.
For example, under the heading About the Inquiry visitors will be able to access topics such as:
· the Inquirys Terms of Reference;
· Issues list;
· Whos who
This work is necessary in order to ensure that the Inquiry website will remain as a useful archive resource for the future. The Inquiry is currently discussing the means of maintaining the website permanently.
· 96 days of Oral Hearings
· 417 hours of hearing time
· 238 witness statements submitted by parents (553 witness statements submitted in total)
· 40 parents gave oral evidence (127 witnesses gave oral evidence in total)
· 674,000 pages of medical records were received in total comprising:
· 2056 childrens records (some of these cases fell outside the years of the Inquirys Terms of Reference)
· 42,071 documents were received from 30 different sources
· 7 Phase Two Seminars
· More than 150 participants
· 180 papers submitted
· Over 50 expert papers on a variety of topics
· 150 page Interim Report and Annexes