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Prescribed painkillers ‘shortened 456 lives’

Mukul : risingbd.com
 
     
Publish on: 2018-06-21 10:14:50 AM     ||     Updated: 2018-06-21 2:07:42 PM

Risingbd Desk: More than 450 patients died after being given powerful painkillers inappropriately at Gosport War Memorial Hospital, a report has found.

An independent panel said, taking into account missing records, a further 200 patients may have suffered a similar fate.The report found there was a "disregard for human life" of a large number of patients from 1989 to 2000.

It said Dr Jane Barton oversaw the practice of prescribing on the wards.

There was an "institutionalised regime" of prescribing and administering "dangerous" amounts of a medication not clinically justified at the Hampshire hospital, the report said.

Prime Minister Theresa May described events at Gosport as "deeply troubling" and apologised to families over the time it took to get answers from the NHS.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt told MPs police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) would examine material in the report to consider their next steps and "whether criminal charges should now be brought".

Bridget Reeves - whose grandmother Elsie Divine, 88, died at the hospital in 1999 - said: "These horrifying, shameful, unforgivable actions need to be disclosed in a criminal court for a jury to decide and only then can we put our loved ones to rest."

So far, the only person to face disciplinary action has been Dr Barton, who was found guilty of failings in her care of 12 patients at Gosport between 1996 and 1999.

But no prosecutions were brought and she was not struck off the medical register, choosing to retire after the findings.

Relatives had said they hoped the findings of the report would end their "harrowing" wait for answers.

The document said families were "consistently let down" by those in authority, both medical individuals and institutions, when they complained about the treatment of their loved ones.

Bishop Jones, who also headed the Hillsborough Inquiry, said: "It's not for the panel to ascribe criminal or civil liability.

"It will be for any future judicial processes to determine whatever culpability and criticism might be forthcoming."

Police previously investigated the deaths of 92 patients during three inquires between 1998 and 2006, but no prosecutions were brought.

Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney, of Hampshire Constabulary, said the force had "co-operated fully" with the panel and "shared with them more than 25,000 documents containing 100,000 pages of information".

"We will assess any new information contained within the report in conjunction with our partners in health and the CPS in order to decide the next steps," she added.

The CPS said it will "consider" the report and take "any appropriate steps as required".
The report said an "awareness" that the deaths "might be due to 'another Shipman'" had "cast a shadow over how concerns at the hospital were viewed".

GP Harold Shipman was jailed for life in 2000 for murdering 15 patients between 1995 and 1998.

"The police focused on the allegation that Dr Barton was guilty of unlawful killing, rather than pursuing a wider investigation," the report added.

"Hampshire Constabulary approached Dr Barton's managers, including the then chief executive at the trust and Dr Althea Lord, the responsible consultant, in a way that ignored the possibility that they too might have been subject to investigation."

It said the quality of the force's three investigations was "consistently poor".

Source: BBC


risingbd/June 21, 2018/Mukul