Gosport hospital deaths: Relative feels ‘guilt’ at not being able to ‘do anything’

Bridget Reeves's grandmother Elsie Devine died at Gosport Memorial Hospiral

Gosport hospital deaths: Families ‘won’t give up’ in quest for justice

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A relative of one of the elderly patients who died at Gosport War Memorial Hospital has spoken of her ‘guilt’ at not being able to ‘do anything’.

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.

Pamela Byrne was remembering her stepfather, Clifford Houghton  Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Pamela Byrne was remembering her stepfather, Clifford Houghton Picture: Chris Moorhouse

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

Read More: Health secretary Jeremy Hunt vows to meet families before final government report

Speaking to The News, Pamela Byrne, whose stepfather Clifford Houghton died at the hospital, said: ‘The Bishop opened by saying ‘yes you were right’, meaning collectively all our concerns had been confirmed. You just let out your breath really, it’s just relief. But then there is a little bit of guilt there, because you feel gosh why wasn’t I able to do anything.

‘I would like to see somebody held accountable, people held accountable, because it can’t have just been one there were other doctors involved, other nurses involved. The powers that be have been covering up.’

Read More: Families still have ‘long way to go’ in battle for justice

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’.