The Inquiry Team
Ministerial Statements
Terms of Reference
Opening Statement
Procedural Meetings

List of Issues
Phase 1 - Cases
Phase 2
Generic Evidence
Questions and Answers
Technical Assistance



On 14 January, Harold Fredrick Shipman was born in Nottingham.


Shipman began medical studies at Leeds University Medical School.


Shipman married Primrose May Oxtoby.


Shipman received provisional registration with the General Medical Council and became a Pre-Registration House Officer (surgery) at Pontefract General Infirmary.


Shipman became a Pre-Registration House Officer (medicine) at Pontefract General Infirmary.


Shipman became an Assistant General Practitioner and then a General Practitioner Principal at Todmorden Group Practice in the Abraham Ormerod Medical Centre in Todmorden, on the Lancashire-West Yorkshire border.


It was discovered that large quantities of controlled drugs were being prescribed by Shipman. Shipman underwent treatment at The Retreat, a psychiatric centre in York, from early October to late December.


Shipman was convicted at Halifax Magistrates Court of dishonestly obtaining drugs, forgery of National Health Service prescriptions and unlawful possession of pethidine. He was fined on each charge and ordered to pay compensation to the Family Practitioner Committee. During this year Shipman worked as a Clinical Medical Officer in South West Durham.


Shipman joined Donneybrook House Group Practice in Hyde, Cheshire, as a General Practitioner.


Shipman moved to The Surgery, 21 Market Street, Hyde and set up as a single-handed General Practitioner.


In March, a local General Practitioner reported concerns to the Coroner about the excess number of deaths among Shipman's patients.

In September, Shipman was arrested by Greater Manchester Police.


On 31 January, the jury at Preston Crown Court returned guilty verdicts against Shipman on 15 counts of murder and one of forgery of a will.

On 1 February, Rt Hon Alan Milburn MP, the Secretary of State for Health, announced an Inquiry into the case under Section 2 of the National Health Service Act 1977.

In March, the Terms of Reference were published for the Independent Inquiry under the Chairmanship of Lord Laming of Tewin. It was to sit in private but its report would be made public.

A group of relatives and friends of known or suspected victims of Shipman, plus several media groups, applied to the High Court for judicial review of the Secretary of State's decision. In July, those applications succeeded and the Laming Inquiry was disbanded.

In September, the Secretary of State for Health announced that a Public Inquiry would be held under the Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Act 1921.

In December, Dame Janet Smith DBE, a High Court judge, was invited to become Chairman of the Inquiry.


On 23 January, the House of Commons debated the proposed Inquiry, which was ratified by both Houses of Parliament. The Inquiry warrant was issued.

On 10 May, Dame Janet Smith held a Public Meeting in the Great Hall, Manchester Town Hall, at which she outlined the conduct and timetable of the Public Hearings.

On 20 June, the Public Hearings began into Phase 1.


On 7 May, the Public Hearings began into Phase 2, Stage 1. They completed on 17 July.

On 19 July, the First Report of the Inquiry was published.

Public hearings into Stage 2 of Phase 2 began on 7 October.


On 27 January, the Public Hearings into Phase 2, Stage 2 ended.

On 19 May, the Public Hearings began into Phase 2, Stage 3.

On 14 July, the Second and Third Reports of the Inquiry were published.

Public Hearings into Stage 3 of Phase 2 completed on 18 July.

Public Hearings into Stage 4 of Phase 2 began on 14 July and completed on 18 December.


In January, a series of seminars relating to topics discussed in Stages 3 and 4 of Phase 2 were held.

On 13 January, Harold Fredrick Shipman committed suicide in Wakefield Prison.

On 15 July, the Fourth Report of the Inquiry was published.

On 9 December, the Fifth Report of the Inquiry was published.


On 27 January, the Sixth and final Report of the Inquiry was published.

On 24 March, the Inquiry was officially closed.

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