Gosport hospital deaths: TV producers plan drama for BBC

Bridget Reeves, whose grandmother Elsie Devine died at Gosport War Memorial Hospita, reads a statement to the press on behalf of the families on June 20 outside. Picture: Chris Moorhouse
Bridget Reeves, whose grandmother Elsie Devine died at Gosport War Memorial Hospita, reads a statement to the press on behalf of the families on June 20 outside. Picture: Chris Moorhouse
Figures have shown Portsmouth has the most fast food outlets compared to its population in the south east, leading to concerns about obesity

Portsmouth is the fast-food capital of the south east - now health experts call for action to stop more opening

School children wrote and performed songs on the NHS celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. Pictured are the winners of the competition with QA Hospital chief executive Mark Cubbon and Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan. Picture: QA Hospital

WATCH: Portsmouth school pupils pen song giving thanks for ‘our NHS’

0
Have your say

Producers have contacted families about creating a TV dramatisation of the long-fought campaign for the truth over hundreds of Gosport hospital deaths.

A small team at the BBC has started approaching families of patients who died at Gosport War Memorial Hospital between 1989 and 2000.

It comes as a four-year inquiry found at least 456 patients had their lives cut short by being prescribed opioid painkillers without clinical justification. Another 200 patients likely had their lives shortened, the panel found.

READ MORE: ‘Cold and callous’ – Families react to Dr Jane Barton’s statement on ‘doing her best’ at Gosport hospital

Families of the patients have told The News of their reaction to the potential dramatisation, warning it must be true to life.

Eric Cousins 70, of Highlands Road, Fareham, lost his 82-year-old D-Day veteran dad Arthur in 2000.

Speaking to The News, Eric said: ‘As long as it’s sensible and serious, as long as it goes with how bad this whole situation has been, and that there’s no bits missing or added in it, then it doesn’t bother me.

‘As long as it’s serious, as long as it’s done correctly.’

Concerns were first raised in 1991 by nurses. But along with 84-year-old Gillian Mackenzie, whose mother 91-year-old mother Gladys Richards died at the hospital in August 1998, their concerns were dismissed.

A detective leading an initial police investigation prompted by Mrs Mackenzie’s concerns concluded after 11 days that she and her sister were trouble makers.

The £14m Gosport Independent Panel found an institutional practice of shortening patients’ lives at the hospital between 1989 and 2000.

Clinical assistant on the wards, Dr Jane Barton, 69, was investigated by police but never charged. On Wednesday she broke her silence. In a statement read out by her husband Tim outside her Alverstoke home she said she did her best for patients but was working in an ‘inadequately-resourced’ section of the health service.

While remaining open minded, Gillian Kimbley, whose husband Robert Wilson, 75, died in 1998 at the hospital, said a possible TV dramatisation struck her at first as ‘strange’.

The 72-year-old, of Sarisbury Green, said: ‘It seems a bit weird, it is strange - I can’t get my head around it.

‘Whether the other families will or not is another thing.

‘They might say they don’t want to do a drama.’

It’s understood the plans are in the early stages but if families agree it would be created in-house at the BBC.