Gosport doctor not alone in the '˜institutional regime of prescribing' dangerous doses at hospital
FOR years questions have been raised about the practice of Dr Jane Barton '“ who was found guilty of misconduct by the General Medical Council.
The GP, who worked at Gosport War Memorial Hospital and later Forton Medical Centre in Gosport, was found to be ‘responsible for the practice of prescribing which prevailed on the wards’, Bishop James Jones said.
But the panel, whose ranks included investigative journalist David Hencke and medical records expert Dr Bill Kirkup, found an ‘institutionalised regime of prescribing and administering’ dangerous doses of opioids that ‘shortened’ patients’ lives.
It found the separate case of Dr Harold Shipman, who was jailed for murdering 15 patients, ‘cast a shadow’ on the police investigations.
The panel said it meant consultants were spoken to ‘in a way that ignored the possibility that they too might have been subject to investigation’.
The bishop added: ‘Although the consultants were not involved directly in treating patients on the wards, the medical records show that they were aware of how drugs were prescribed and administered but did not intervene to stop the practice.
‘Nurses had a responsibility to challenge prescribing where it was not in the interests of the patient.
‘The records show that the nurses did not discharge that responsibility and continued to administer the drugs prescribed.
‘The documents also demonstrate the suboptimal care and lack of diligence by nursing staff in executing their professional accountability for the care delivered.
‘Patients and relatives were marginalised by the professional staff.’
Nurses who in 1991 challenged the prescribing practice showed ‘bravery,’ the panel said, but the hospital chose not to rectify the problem.