Gosport hospital deaths: Former nurse fears mother was among first to die

A FORMER nurse has told of her fears that her mother was among the first victims of the Gosport War Memorial Hospital scandal.

Monday, 23rd July 2018, 10:32 pm
Updated Tuesday, 24th July 2018, 12:14 am
Celia Faibrother's mother May's death certificate. Picture: Chris Neill/Daily Mirror

Celia Fairbrother tracked down her mother May's death certificate, which had been signed by Dr Jane Barton.

A four-year panel investigation found 456 patients died at the hospital between 1989-2000 when they were prescribed opioids without medical justification. Another 200 deaths '˜probably' died in the same way but medical records no longer exist to say for certain.

Dr Barton, of Alverstoke, Gosport, was 'responsible for the practice of prescribing which prevailed on the wards,' panel leader Bishop James Jones said.

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Celia Faibrother's mother May. Picture: Chris Neill/Daily Mirror

Celia told the Daily Mirror she was '˜extremely suspicious' when Dr Barton gave her mother, 84, strong painkillers when she was not in pain.

After raising concerns, Celia said she was asked: '˜You wouldn't want her to suffer, would you?'

Celia believes her mother was among the first victims of the scandal. She visited her at the hospital, only to find she was being given painkillers by drip.

Celia, of Liverpool, told the Daily Mirror: 'I asked to see the doctor and Dr Barton came to see me. I found her brusque and cold.

Celia Faibrother when a nurse. Picture: Chris Neill/Daily Mirror

I asked what the drip was for and she told me it was for '˜the pain'. I asked what pain and she said, '˜You wouldn't want her to suffer, would you?'

'My sister and I looked at each other. We thought, "What's going on here?"

'We were extremely suspicious. We just drove home in silence.'

The death certificate said she died from bronchopneumonia and senile dementia.

Figures uncovered by the Gosport Independent Panel found bronchopneumonia deaths hit nearly 100 a year in the 1990s.

Celia said: 'The certificate says bronchopneumonia, which I don't believe she had. I saw no signs.'

Some 165 families were involved with the panel.

She added: '˜This isn't just Gosport, there are relatives all round the country.

'˜I want recognition so my mother isn't just nameless.'

Hampshire police has asked another force to take on the reviewing of evidence found by the panel.