GOSPORT MP Caroline Dinenage has welcomed an inquiry into the deaths of 100 patients at Gosport War Memorial Hospital, that was launched today.
A ministerial statement was released this morning by government health minister Norman Lambto announce an inquiry similar to the one launched to investigate the Hillsborough tragedy will be set up to look into the deaths at the hospital.
The inquiry will be led by the Right Rev James Jones, the former Bishop of Liverpool, and will look into deaths as far back as 1991.
Ms Dinenage said: ‘For the families involved, this has been a long and hard journey.
‘I am pleased that the government has expressed its commitment to addressing their ongoing concerns and finding out what really happened at Gosport War Memorial Hospital.
‘I have always called for openness and transparency – the families deserve nothing less. The inquiry, selected by the families as their preferred course of action, is an important first step in finally bringing closure to this difficult case.’
Dozens of patients are said to have been given ‘life-shortening’ painkillers at the hospital.
A report into the practise, chaired by Professor Richard Baker, found morphine and other powerful drugs were routinely prescribed to elderly patients in Gosport between 1988 and 2000, even if they were not in pain.
Last year, the report was finally published after the final inquest was heard.
Mr Lamb said: ‘The events at Gosport War Memorial hospital have caused immense distress to the families of the patients who died.
‘I was deeply concerned by the findings of the Baker report, and I am confident that the appointment of Bishop James Jones to chair this independent process will help answer the many questions of the families affected by these shocking events.’