Gosport hospital deaths families launch crowdfunder in bid to get case in criminal court

Ann Reeves, centre, surrounded by families at the release of Gosport Independent Panel's report into deaths at Gosport War Memorial Hospital yesterday. Picture: Chris Moorhouse
Ann Reeves, centre, surrounded by families at the release of Gosport Independent Panel's report into deaths at Gosport War Memorial Hospital yesterday. Picture: Chris Moorhouse
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt issues a statement on Gosport Hospital in the House of Commons, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday June 20, 2018. See PA story HEALTH Gosport. Photo credit should read: PA Wire

NHS ‘blame’ culture must end to prevent repeat of Gosport War Memorial Hospital scandal

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FAMILIES of the hundreds of patients who died at Gosport War Memorial Hospital have launched a crowdfund to take their case to criminal court.

The online fundraiser follows nearly 20 years of uncertainty for loved ones of the 456 patients who died at the site after being given opioids ‘without medical justification’ between 1989 and 2000.

Ann's mother and Bridget's grandmother, Elsie Devine

Ann's mother and Bridget's grandmother, Elsie Devine

Findings published yesterday revealed as many as 200 more patients were also likely to have had their lives shortened by the practice.

Now, families are asking for financial backing to take the evidence to a criminal court and hold those responsible to account.

Ann Reeves’ daughter, Bridget, opened the GoFundMe page this morning, after her grandmother Elsie Devine died following treatment at the hospital aged 88, in 1999.

Ann, 72, said any support for the cause is ‘vital’.

She said: ‘It looks like most of the work has been done with the report published yesterday but for the families of the patients this is far from over.

‘I can guarantee the government has its best lawyers looking into this report already – but we have no one by our side to help us as we pick it apart page by page and word by word.

‘We need a barrister so we can get this into court and expose what happened to the world.

‘My message to anyone out there who can is please, please donate.’

Bridget hopes her crowdfunder gains traction so families can ‘get their day in court’

She said: ‘We have never been offered funding and we need a top barrister.

‘Any donations are extremely appreciated.’

Along with scores of other families demanding answers, Ann was at Portsmouth Cathedral yesterday as the £14m Gosport Independent Panel revealed four years of findings from investigations into the hospital deaths.

Among the catalogue of damning truths made public, the panel found there was a ‘disregard for human life and a culture of shortening the lives of patients’ at the hospital.

Charles and Ann Farthing, from Portsmouth, were also there after Charles’ step-father Brian Cunningham died at Gosport War Memorial Hospital aged 79.

Mrs Farthing said: ‘It is wonderful to see the report, I am delighted at what the panel has achieved.

‘I was shocked by the number of people who died that feature.

‘It has been an overwhelming day and even though we knew it was going to be a lot of people, I did not expect 456. ‘It was about the bigger picture for us and justice for all future patients.

‘This report does that, it highlights all the failings from different organisations and will protect future patients.’

To donate to the Justice for The Victims of Gosport crowdfund, click here.