Gosport War Memorial Hospital: Lawyer meets with families in bid to secure Hillsborough-style inquest into hospital deaths

FAMILIES and lawyers are ‘optimistic’ about their chances of getting a Hillsborough-style inquest for the hundreds of people who died at Gosport War Memorial Hospital.

Friday, 27th August 2021, 4:56 pm
Updated Friday, 27th August 2021, 4:57 pm
Robert Wilson died at Gosport War Memorial Hospital in 1998. Picture: Chris Ison/PA Wire

Today, lawyer Emma Jones met families of those who died at the Gosport hospital between 1987 and 2001.

An independent inquiry found that 456 patients had their lives 'shortened' in that time after being prescribed opioids.

Emma, who works for law firm Leigh Day, explained what will happen next.

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Gosport War Memorial Hospital. Picture Ian Hargreaves (180618_memorial)

Read More

Read More
The worst roads in Portsmouth and Hampshire - according to our readers

After an open meeting with the families, she said: ‘The meeting went very well – we had a great discussion with our clients and there were some people we hadn’t met before.

‘We went through the inquest process with them, along with the next steps we will take and the importance of getting more people to come forward.

‘To get the outcome we want, we definitely need strength in numbers and that’s what we hope to get.’

Leigh Day lawyer Emma Jones. Picture: Leigh Day

Four inquests have already been secured by the law firm, and the coroner will open them with a pre-inquest review hearing.

It is there that families can step forward as interested parties, citing that the deaths of their loved ones are connected.

This pressure, Emma says, is what can bring about a Hillsborough-style inquest – where all the deaths will be looked at collectively.

She said: ‘At that stage, we would be asking the coroner to consider the inquests together, or at least in groups.

‘Individual deaths must still be investigated, but we have to work with the system that’s in place.

‘The more inquests the coroner has to investigate, the stronger the case becomes for the type of inquest we are after.’

The Hillsborough inquest, which concluded in 2016, confirmed that 96 football fans were unlawfully killed at the Hillsborough disaster in 1989.

It took around two years to conclude, and Emma believes an inquest into the Gosport War Memorial Hospital deaths would take a similar amount of time, though ‘it’s impossible to be exact’.

Robert Wilson died at Gosport War Memorial Hospital in 1998.

After the meeting, his son Robert Logan said: ‘There are several hundred families who have never had an inquest for their loved ones, so we would urge them to apply for one via their solicitor.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

You can subscribe here for unlimited access to our online coverage, including Pompey, for 27p a day.