Response to the Queen's Speech by Kevan Jones MP

Kevan Jones MP is the Chair of the Cardiac Risk in the Young All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG). There follows part of his response to the Queen’s Speech in November 2007, in which he mentions his involvement with CRY.kevan(small)

Kevan Jones MP

“I want to discuss two issues that were omitted from the Queen’s Speech. When the hon. Member for North-West Norfolk (Mr. Bellingham) raised the issue of a coroners Bill, I was not pleased by the Lord Chancellor’s response. The Lord Chancellor implied that only the hon. Member for North-West Norfolk wants such a Bill, but many Labour Members want to see its introduction. The Bill exists in draft form, and it is long overdue, because we need to bring up to date the archaic coroner system in this country. The draft Bill followed an excellent report by the Constitutional Affairs Committee, which we debated earlier this year in Westminster Hall. The Bill would provide an opportunity not only to bring the coroner service up to date, but to tackle some issues that affect our constituents.

I chair the all-party group on cardiac risk in the young, and the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young is anxious to see the introduction of the coroners Bill. One issue is the need to introduce a system to ensure that when young people suddenly die of cardiac failure it is properly investigated and the statistics, which can influence the debate, are kept. At the moment, the problem is that the sudden deaths of young people are investigated differently in different jurisdictions. Such cases are, for example, sometimes put down to drowning. In areas in which coroners are proactive, there is not only support for families, but the death is registered as a cardiac death. That is important because CRY estimates that eight young people a week die of sudden cardiac failure, and only a coroner system where such information can be held centrally will allow us to argue the necessary case for screening in the health service for young people who do sports. I hope that there is time during the Session to introduce a coroners Bill because I and many others would welcome it.”

A full transcription of the debate can be found online at: