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Ombudsman announces new Expert Advisory Panel

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman is pleased to announce the members of a newly formed Expert Advisory Panel. Ombudsman Rob Behrens appointed Dr Bill Kirkup, James Titcombe, Suzy Ashworth and Dr Nick Coleman as independent advisors with a remit to offer challenge and support to different areas of the organisation’s work. 

The four panel members bring with them a wide range of specialist knowledge and expertise and will provide independent advice as and when it is required by the Ombudsman.

Dr Bill Kirkup, CBE, was the Associate Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health from 2005 to 2009. He chairs investigations into public service failures which have included Jimmy Savile’s involvement at Broadmoor Hospital and the Morecambe Bay maternity services. Dr Kirkup served as a member of the Hillsborough Independent Panel and the Gosport Independent Panel and has experience working on public health as a civilian volunteer alongside several overseas military operations.

James Titcombe, OBE, is a patient safety consultant and worked as the National Advisor for Safety, Quality and Culture with the Care Quality Commission (CQC). He was also a member of the government’s expert advisory group which helped establish the Healthcare Safety Investigations Branch (HSIB). His campaign following the death of his baby son Joshua in 2008 resulted in the Morecambe Bay Inquiry, and a subsequent national review of maternity services. 

Suzy Ashworth is a dispute resolution professional with broad experience of the legal, complaints handling and professional services sectors. She is a panellist on the Fitness to Practise Committee of the Nursing and Midwifery Council and adjudicates on consumer complaints against private healthcare providers.

Dr Nick Coleman has been a consultant in Intensive Care Medicine at the University Hospitals of North Midlands for 22 years and the Trust’s Responsible Officer since 2014. His professional interests include the learning to be gained from healthcare investigations and the development of safe and accessible healthcare services.

Rob Behrens, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, said:

‘Having independent experts provide honest and critical advice is a highly effective way for us to continuously improve the quality of our service and the impact of our casework.

'The panel will bring an invaluable breadth of knowledge and expertise to their advisory roles. I look forward to getting their input on various projects and areas of our work.’

Find out more about our Expert Advisory Panel.