Nottingham hospital mortuaries reviewing security after Kent crimes

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City Hospital (original picture by David Hallam-Jones cc-by-sa-2.0) and Queen's Medical Centre (original picture by Harry Mitchell cc-by-sa-3.0)
By Anna Whittaker, Local Democracy Reporter

Nottingham’s hospitals trust has reviewed its mortuary practices after horrific crimes in two Kent hospitals were revealed.

NHS England asked all trusts with mortuary or body stores to “urgently review their practices” after David Fuller was found to have sexually abused at least 100 corpses between 2008 and 2020.

His victims, from two Kent hospital morgues, were aged between nine and 100 years old.

The horrendous crimes were discovered as police investigated the murders of Wendy Knell and Caroline Pierce in 1987, to which Fuller pleaded guilty.

As the case emerged, all hospital trusts were asked to review their ways of working by making sure they have effective CCTV coverage in place, that entry and access points are controlled with swipe access, and that appropriate DBS checks and risk assessments are being carried out.

In an Extraordinary Trust Board meeting last week, Nottingham University Hospitals Trust, which runs the Queen’s Medical Centre and Nottingham City Hospital assured its board that it was compliant with guidance.

It said all NHS Trust and contracted employees who have direct contact with patients will have a full DBS Check.

It said the swipe card access at the QMC Mortuary was recently updated during the refurbishment of the post-mortem room, and the mortuary at City Hospital has recently had a total refurbishment.

All external access doors at both hospitals are covered by CCTV, which is viewed by mortuary staff to identify who is requesting access.

Papers presented to the meeting, which took place on November 10, show the list of staff with swipe card access is reviewed by the mortuary manager and the access control team twice a year.

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Sajid Javid said last week the government will launch an independent enquiry into the crimes and will also “be looking at whether the penalties that are currently available for such appalling sexual offences are appropriate”.

A sentencing date for Fuller, 67, of Heathfield, East Sussex, has not yet been set.

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