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Gosport Independent Panel

About the Panel

2. Members of the Panel

The Gosport Independent Panel was set up by Norman Lamb, a former Minister of State for Care and Support at the Department of Health, under the chairmanship of Bishop James Jones KBE. Panel members have the skills and expertise in their respective fields required for the Panel’s work.

The Chair

Bishop James Jones KBE

James Jones was Bishop of Liverpool for 15 years until August 2013.

He chaired the Hillsborough Independent Panel, which reported in September 2012, providing direction and leadership to the Panel. Supported by other Panel members, he represented the Panel to the Hillsborough families and the wider public. He also chaired the Independent Panel on the Future of Forestry.

The Bishop served in the House of Lords, where he engaged with issues including criminal and restorative justice, the environment and urban regeneration. He was the Home Secretary’s adviser on Hillsborough until the end of March 2018, and in November 2017 presented a report to Parliament, The Patronising Disposition of Unaccountable Power, on the lessons learned from the Hillsborough families’ experiences over 28 years.

He was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire “for services to the bereaved and to justice” in 2017.

Panel members

Kate Blackwell QC

Kate Blackwell is a barrister with extensive experience in regulatory and serious criminal cases. Kate also has experience of the independent panel process, acting as the QC for the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel Inquiry. She was a member of the prosecution team in the Harold Shipman case and was later instructed in The Shipman Inquiry. Kate lectures in the UK and internationally on all aspects of serious crime, fraud, bribery, corruption and associated offences.

Kate is also Deputy Head of Lincoln House Chambers and sits in the Crown Court as a part-time judge (recorder). She is a Master of the Bench at the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn.

Christine Gifford

Christine Gifford is a recognised expert in the field of access to information, and has been a member of the Advisory Council on National Records and Archives, which advises the government on the disclosure of highly sensitive material. Christine spent more than 20 years working with the Metropolitan Police. In 1997, she joined the Open Government Working Group and later became an adviser to the Lord Chancellor on the implementation of the Freedom of Information Act. She was a member of the Hillsborough Independent Panel, where she led on access to and disclosure of information.

David Hencke

David Hencke is an independent investigative journalist and writer with extensive experience of working for local, specialist and national newspapers. He has won British Journalism Awards. David was a member of the Lord Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on the implementation of the Freedom of Information Act.

Duncan Jarrett OBE

Duncan Jarrett OBE is a former Scotland Yard Commander with over 35 years’ investigative experience. Duncan is the Chair of Mediation in Hertfordshire. He is an experienced mediator, currently working to deliver independent and impartial mediation to local people experiencing conflict. He was awarded an OBE in 2003 for services to prevent terrorism.

Dr Bill Kirkup CBE

Dr Bill Kirkup CBE has led independent investigations into major health service and patient safety incidents since 2010, including those in Oxford, Broadmoor Hospital, Morecambe Bay and Liverpool. He was a member of the Hillsborough Independent Panel. He retired from the Department of Health in 2010, having held public health and management roles at regional and national level, latterly as Associate Chief Medical Officer. Bill has also worked on public health and reconstruction in Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Dr John Pounsford

Dr John Pounsford is a specialist in care of the elderly. He has recently retired as a consultant physician at North Bristol NHS Trust. He was Clinical Director of Medicine and sat on the Clinical Risk Committee for many years, latterly as Vice Chair. John has extensive experience in respiratory medicine. He has advised on respiratory medicine at the British Geriatrics Society and on geriatric medicine at the British Thoracic Society.

John has substantial experience in primary care and sat on a Primary Care Trust Executive Committee. He has over 30 years’ experience in teaching and is an examiner in medicine at the University of Bristol and for the Diploma of Geriatric Medicine at the Royal College of Physicians. He has chaired two National Institute for Health Research Panels and sat on a National Institute for Health and Care Excellence appraisal committee for ten years.

Professor Jim Smith

Professor Jim Smith is a pharmacist with over 30 years’ experience in the development and implementation of pharmacy, prescribing and medicines strategies. He was the Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for England during 2001–05 and has also held senior posts in NHS regional health authorities and as Professor of Pharmacy and head of department in the University of Sunderland between 2005 and 2010.

Jim is a member of the Fitness to Practise Committee at the General Pharmaceutical Council. He worked as a consultant for the World Health Organization on pharmaceutical development in Central and Eastern Europe and is a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health.

Professor Deborah Sturdy OBE

Deborah Sturdy has worked with older people and people living with dementia throughout her 37-year career in nursing. She has held a variety of roles across both health and social care, including clinical practice, management, policy and research.

Deborah holds two visiting chairs in nursing, at Manchester Metropolitan University and Buckinghamshire New University. She was awarded the British Geriatrics Society President‘s Medal in 2011. She was awarded an OBE in 2017 for services to nursing, older people and dementia.