The investigation will be led by a single investigator who is not a current employee of either organisation; the investigator will report to the West London Mental Health NHS Trust and the Department of Health. A local panel, containing independent members, will offer challenge and advice to the investigation team (but not direction or instruction) as their work progresses.
The investigation team will:
carry out their investigation in private
ensure the proper treatment of those who give evidence to the investigation, particularly vulnerable witnesses. Full details will be set out in a witness protocol
ensure that the discovery work is robust and proportionate to the allegations/concerns raised
gather evidence to support the investigation including but not limited to hospital and official Departmental files, Hansard (Parliament’s official report), statements from staff, interviews with victims and witnesses and examination of past and present practice, policy and procedure
work with the Metropolitan Police, and any other police force investigating these matters as appropriate
coordinate and maintain links with relevant external bodies including the local safeguarding boards and NHS London (and subsequently the National Trust Development Authority)
coordinate and maintain links with the investigation teams in the other NHS Trusts undertaking similar investigations and the BBC
work closely with the independent oversight team, led by Kate Lampard throughout the course of the investigation
maintain an audit trail of all information relevant to the investigation.
The investigation will be concluded as promptly as possible while ensuring its thoroughness.
The Trust Board and the Permanent Secretary at the Department of Health will receive regular progress reports from the investigation team. The lead investigator will produce a written report that identifies any lessons to be learned and makes recommendations for improving systems and policies.
The report and any action plan flowing from the report’s findings will be received and approved by the Trust Board and the Permanent Secretary at the Department of Health before being presented to the independent oversight team and finally the Secretary of State for Health. The final investigation report will be published, as requested by the Secretary of State.
Updated 19 December 2012: This page was updated with the addition of the last bullet point and the last two paragraphs.