Sir Robert Francis QC

Associate Member


Call 1973 | Silk 1992

Sir Robert Francis QC | Call 1973 | Silk 1992

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Overview

Robert has more years than he would like to admit to of experience in professional disciplinary and regulatory cases and inquiries as well as other healthcare related regulatory issues. He has appeared in many high profile GMC hearings and appeals and at many public inquiries. He has chaired a number of inquiries into homicides by mentally ill patients, and he chaired the inquiry into the failings of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, the report of which was published in February 2010.

Public & Administrative

“He is a very, very wise owl, who is experienced and knows his subject backwards.”
Chambers & Partners

Sir Robert Francis QC has been awarded an honorary MD from St. George’s, University of London.

expertise & experience

Robert has appeared in many high profile GMC hearings and appeals including those about the Bristol paediatric cardiac surgery scandal, and more recently in a number of cases in which the definition of fitness to practice has been refined. He has appeared at many public inquiries including; the Bristol Royal Infirmary Inquiry, the Royal Liverpool Children’s Hospital Inquiry, and the Neale Inquiry.

He has chaired a number of inquiries into homicides by mentally ill patients, including an inquiry into the treatment and care of Michael Stone, and the inquiry into the killing of Richard Loudwell by Peter Bryan at Broadmoor Hospital. He chaired the inquiry into the failings of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust the report of which was published in February 2010. He also chaired the subsequent Public Inquiry into the lessons to be learned from this scandal for the management and regulation of the NHS. He was Chair of the 2014 Freedom to Speak Up Review which addressed whistle-blowing in the NHS.

Cases and Work of Note

  • S v Airedale NHS Trust [2003] Lloyds Rep Med 21 (Seclusion of detained mental patient)
  • R v North Thames RHA & Others Ex parte L (1996) 7 Med LR 386 (QBD) (medical employment when must discipline)
  • Roy v Kensington & Chelsea & Westminster FPC [1992] 1 AC 624 (HL) (GP terms of service)
  • Undercover Police Inquiry
    Leading counsel for the National Police Chiefs Council
  • Freedom to Speak Up Review
    Chairman; report February March 2015
  • Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry
    Chairman; report February 2013
  • Independent Inquiry into care provided by Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust January 2005-March 2009
    Chairman; report February 2010
  • Independent Inquiry into the Care and Treatment of GB
    Chairman; report September 2009
  • Independent Inquiry into the care and treatment of Peter Bryan and Richard Loudwell at Broadmoor Hospital
    Chairman; report September 2009
  • Independent Inquiry into the Care and Treatment of Michael Stone
    Chairman; report September 2006
  • Inquiry to investigate how the NHS handled allegations about the performance and conduct of Richard Neale
    Counsel for interested party; report September 2004
  • Bristol Royal Infirmary Inquiry
    Counsel for interested party; report July 2001
  • Royal Liverpool Children’s Inquiry
    Counsel for interested party; report January 2001