Dr Bill Kirkup: Who is the man leading the investigation into East Kent maternity services?
Dozens of newborn deaths prompted a probe into a Kent NHS Trust and Dr Bill Kirkup is leading the way with the investigation.
Dr Kirkup was appointed by the Government to lead an independent investigation into maternity and neonatal services at East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust.
It was launched in March 2021 following the deaths of more than a dozen newborns at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford and the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate.
Who is Bill Kirkup?
Bill Kirkup qualified as a doctor, specialising in obstetrics and gynaecological oncology, before moving into Public Health and Medical management.
He worked in the North-East and Yorkshire and then as Associate Chief Medical Officer for England.
He also worked as a volunteer as a civilian alongside military operations in Kosovo (1999), Baghdad and Iraq (2003, 2005) and Afghanistan (2007/08). He was made a CBE in 2008.
Since retiring from Public Health, he has focused on independent investigations.
Why was he chosen to lead the investigation?
Since retiring from public health, Dr Bill Kirkup has worked on many independent investigations - including a number of high profile hospital inquiries.
Dr Kirkup was acting chair and a member of the Hillsborough Independent Panel which looked into into the 1989 Hillsborough football disaster
He led a review into children's paediatric cardiac surgery at Oxfords's John Radcliffe Hospital in 2010, following the deaths of four children who underwent heart surgery.
The heart surgery service at the hospital closed seven months later.
In 2012, Dr Kirkup was appointed as the lead investigator for the for the joint Department of Health and West London Mental Health Trust investigation into the involvement of Jimmy Savile in Broadmoor Hospital in Berkshire.
He was also appointed Chairman of the Morecambe Bay maternity services Investigation in July 2013.
In 2014 Dr Kirkup was on the panel as part of an independent investigation into the deaths of dozens of elderly patients at Gosport War Memorial Hospital in Hampshire.
More recently in 2020, Mr Kirkup chaired an investigation into the death of Elizabeth Dixon.
Miss Dixon was a child with special health needs, who'd been born prematurely at Frimley Park Hospital in Camberley, Surrey on 14 December 2000.
The investigation looked at the events surrounding the care of Elizabeth and makes a series of recommendations in respect of the failures in the care she received from the NHS.
Bill Kirkup was also appointed Chairman of the Morecambe Bay Investigation in July 2013.
It looked at the maternity and neonatal services in Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust between January 2004 and June 2013.
Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know.