Gosport hospital deaths: Families still have ‘long way to go’ in battle for justice

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A relative of one of the elderly patients who died at a Gosport hospital has said the families still have ‘a long way to go’ to get justice.

An independent inquiry found that at least 456 patients died after being given opioids ‘without medical justification’ at Gosport War Memorial Hospital between 1988 and 2000.

Gillian Mackenzie, whose mother Gladys Richards died at the hospital

Gillian Mackenzie, whose mother Gladys Richards died at the hospital

The Gosport Independent Panel, led by Bishop James Jones, returned their report on the hospital after a four year investigation today,

While the report is a landmark moment for the relatives of the patients who died at the hospital, who have been battling for justice for 20 years Gillian Mackenzie, whose mother Gladys Richards died at the hospital, still believes they have a ‘long way to go’.

Read More: Up to 650 patients died after being prescribed opioids ‘without medical justification’

She said: ‘They’ll have to bring 15 of the strongest cases into the criminal court because that is where it deserves to go.

‘Whether that is my case or not.

‘As far as I am concerned they’ve got to get a convicition for all the rest of the families who also have a geniune case.

‘We’ve got a long way to go. When there’s a conviction in the criminal court that will be justice for all these families.’

The Panel returned their findings on the deaths at Gosport War Memorial Hopsital at Portsmouth Cathedral this morning, the inqury was first announced in December 2014 by then Minister for Care Norman Lamb.

Read More: PM Theresa May labels Gosport War Memorial findings ‘tragic’

Speaking about her experience inside the Cathedral this morning, as the report was read out, Gillian added: ‘We were listening to a lot. Very mixed emotions.’

Giving a statement outside Portsmouth Cathedral this morning, Rt Rev Jones said there was an ‘institutionalised practice of shortening lives through prescribing and administering opioids without medical justification at the hospital’.

And he called on Hampshire police’s chief constable, the home secretary Sajid Javid and health secretary Jeremy Hunt to ‘act accordingly’.

Prime Minister Theresea May addressed the report in PMQs today, replying to a question from the Rt Honourable MP Norman Lamb for North Norfolk who campaigned for the public inquiry.

She said: ‘First of all my thoughts and I am sure the thoughts of everybody across this house will be with all the families of patients who died as a result of what happened at Gosport hospital.’