Laurence Vick
Posted on 17 Feb 2014

Sir Bruce Keogh Orders New Inquiry into Bristol Failings

Over a decade on, Sir Ian Kennedy called to conduct new inquiry

'We do not have the mechanisms in place for supporting parents when things go wrong and we need to have them. We cannot just say "sorry, we've done our best" and move on.'

- Professor Sir Bruce Keogh

A new inquiry into failings at Bristol Royal Children's hospital has been called, with Sir Ian Kennedy once again to lead the investigation. The previous Kennedy Inquiry, which concluded in 2001, found that complete, systemic change was required to improve the safety of the country's child cardiac services.

The order for a new inquiry comes after Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, Medical Director of the NHS, met with the families of children who died at the unit to discuss their concerns. Steve and Yolanda Turner, parents of young Sean who died at Bristol in March 2012, had secured the meeting through an online media campaign.

Michelmores' Laurence Vick, representing the families who met with Sir Bruce on Friday, was joint lead solicitor to the 300 members of the Bristol Heart Children Action Group at the previous public inquiry. Like many concerned in the child heart scandal, he has spoken out with concerns that the lessons of the last Bristol scandal had not been learnt. Laurence said:

'So far these failings appear to be on a smaller scale, mercifully, but the parallels with the Bristol scandal of the nineties are striking...the public need to feel confident that this is a safe unit. As well as seeking answers to their many questions this, ultimately, is the aim of the families.'

Laurence Vick's full comment on the current Bristol inquests can be read here.

Press coverage of the families' meeting with Sir Bruce Keogh

Sunday Telegraph, with comment from Laurence Vick

Sky News (video)

Bristol Post


Bristol Post (background to the parallels with the Bristol scandal of the 1990s)

You can follow Steve and Yolanda Turner on Twitter at @YolandaTurner14 and @Sturneroo7.

If you would like to discuss a claim relating to cardiac surgery or the Bristol Royal Children's Hospital, you can call us for free, discreet and impartial advice.