Robert Francis QC has practised as a barrister since 1973 and is a specialist in medical legal issues including clinical negligence claims, in which he acts for both claimants and defendants. He is also a Recorder, sitting part-time in the Crown Court and the County Court.
He has extensive experience of medically related inquiries, having appeared as a barrister at the Bristol Royal Infirmary Inquiry, the Royal Liverpool Children’s Inquiry, and the Neale Inquiry. Robert has also chaired three homicide inquiries into the care and treatment of mentally disordered patients: [Michael Stone in Kent; Peter Bryan and Richard Loudwell in Broadmoor Hospital; and Glaister Earle Butler in Birmingham].
Appearing frequently for doctors before the ‘fitness to practice panels’ of the General Medical Council, Robert often deals with cases raising difficult ethical issues in medical treatment, such as the withdrawal of nutrition from patients in a permanent vegetative state and professional disciplinary and regulatory cases.
He became Queen’s Counsel in 1992, and is a former Chairman of the Professional Negligence Bar Association. He also acts as a legal adviser to the Professional Conduct Committee of the General Optical Council and is a co-author of Medical Treatment Decisions and the Law  and a Consultant Editor of the LS Law Reports (Medical).
Robert Francis QC has been appointed by the Secretary of State for Health, Andy Burnham, to chair the Independent Inquiry into care provided by Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust between January 2005 and March 2009.
Keith Morton is Counsel to the Inquiry. He is assisted by Benjamin Hay who is Junior Counsel to the Inquiry.
Counsel’s role, which is strictly impartial, is to give the Inquiry independent legal advice and to present the evidence. Witnesses who attend hearings will be questioned by Counsel to the Inquiry.
Keith Morton has a common law practice with a particular focus on public inquiries, employment, administrative and health and safety law and is accustomed to dealing with complex civil litigation.
Keith is a member of the Attorney General’s A Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown, A Panel.
Benjamin Hay has a common law practice, with experience in inquiries, personal injury and employment law.
The Independent Inquiry into care provided by Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust: January 2005 – March 2009 has appointed five advisers to provide specialist expertise and advice.
Professor Peter Hutton is Honorary Consultant at the University Hospital Birmingham and the Independent Consultant member on the Prescription Medicine Code of Practice Authority Appeal Board. He is also joint clinical lead for unscheduled care for NHS London.
Peter has 21 years experience as Clinical Professor at the University of Birmingham and is currently the university’s Professor of Anaesthesia.
Tricia Hart has been Director of Nursing & Patient Safety at South Tees Hospitals NHS Trust since April 2005. Her portfolio covers all aspects of professional leadership and governance, including clinical and non clinical risk, as well as patient safety, litigation, complaints, patient and public agenda, bereavement services, adult and child protection. Tricia is also the nominated Board Champion for Children’s Services.
David Richardson was appointed as Chairman to Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in July 2005. He is Chairman of Bradford and Airedale Care Partnerships Ltd-LIFT Co, and Chief Executive of Bradford Breakthrough Ltd, the senior business leaders’ forum for the district.
Mary Baker is President of the European Federation of Neurological Associations, Vice President of the European Brain Council, Consultant to the World Health Organisation and Chair of the Working Group on Parkinson's disease.
Mary is Director at Large for the World Stroke Association, Patient Editor of the British Medical Journal and a member of the ABPI Code of Practice. Mary has received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Surrey in recognition of her work around Parkinson's disease.
Professor David Black MA MBA FRCP has been a Consultant Physician in Geriatric Medicine at Queen Mary’s Hospital, Sidcup, since 1987 and was Medical Director from 1997 to 2003. He was Honorary Secretary of the British Geriatrics Society (BGS), and a member of the External Reference Group for developing the National Service Framework he was the geriatrician representative on the National Older People’s Task Force.
As a medical manager and educationalist, he has been interested in induction, mentoring, and the day-to-day application of Clinical Governance. In 2002 he was elected as a Director of the British Association of Medical Managers (BAMM), elected Chair of the Board 2007-9 and appointed, as an associate member, to the ‘Fitness to Practice’ directorate of the General Medical Council from 2001-2005.