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Leak reveals details of mortuary sex assaults inquiry

The inquiry into sex offences carried out in a hospital mortuary will consider whether the trust board ‘received sufficient assurance’ about the issues raised by the assaults, documents shared with HSJ show.

The draft terms of reference for the independent inquiry have been shared with the families of women and girls abused by maintenance supervisor David Fuller for comment.

The inquiry will take place in two phases. The first phase – which will concentrate on Mr Fuller’s actions in Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Trust – will look at his initial employment and access to the mortuary and other areas, and whether processes were appropriate.

It will also in this phase “consider whether the trust’s board received sufficient assurance on the issues raised by the case”.

But it will also seek to identify any evidence of “other inappropriate or unlawful activities” by Mr Fuller elsewhere on trust premises. It will review any evidence of concerns around his behaviour, and how the trust and the private contractors who later employed him addressed them.

In a letter to the families, inquiry chair Sir Jonathan Michael says it is intended that the evidence sessions will be held in private “primarily to protect and safeguard the dignity and anonymity of those people that Fuller abused” but also to encourage people to be “candid”. It is unclear whether families or their legal representatives will be able to attend these private sessions – other than when they are giving evidence – and to raise questions.

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 28 January 2022


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