Gosport MP welcomes report date for historic deaths at town hospital

Gosport War Memorial Hospital
Gosport War Memorial Hospital
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AN MP has welcomed confirmation a report into deaths at Gosport War Memorial Hospital will be released this summer.

The inquiry into the deaths is set to report back to families on June 20.

Bishop James Jones

Bishop James Jones

In a statement issued yesterday, Bishop James Jones KBE, chair of the Gosport Independent Panel, said families would be informed first with information released to help ‘public understanding’ of the events.

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage has welcomed the latest announcement and said she hopes families of those affected will get the answers they are after.

Ms Dinenage said: ‘For the families involved, this has been a long and hard journey.

‘I am pleased the government has fulfilled its commitment to address their concerns.

I have always called for openness and transparency - the families deserve nothing less.

Caroline Dinenage

‘I have always called for openness and transparency – the families deserve nothing less.

‘I’m hopeful this inquiry, selected by the families as their preferred course of action, will be an important step towards finally getting the answers they have been seeking.’

The Gosport Independent Panel inquiry is looking into the deaths of a number of elderly patients at Gosport War Memorial Hospital, on Bury Road, between 1988 and 2000.

A review of the deaths in 2013 found patients had been prescribed a higher than normal number of opiates.

Led by the former Bishop of Liverpool – who previously chaired the Hillsborough Independent Panel into the disaster – it was due to conclude in December 2017.

But an extra £5m was pumped in by government last year to continue the panel’s work.

Bishop Jones said: ‘The Gosport Independent Panel will publish its report about the historic concerns at Gosport War Memorial Hospital on June 20.

‘The report will be shared first with the affected families in Portsmouth Cathedral.

‘The report will deal with the families’ historic questions about the care of their relatives in Gosport War Memorial Hospital and the subsequent investigations into their deaths.

‘The report will provide an overview of the documents reviewed by the Panel and will illustrate how the information disclosed adds to public understanding of these events and their aftermath.’

The panel was announced on July 10, 2014.

Families have previously spoken of their anger at the delays of the inquiry.

It was announced in November 2016 that the panel had to be pushed back until this year due to the number of families who had got in contact.

At that time 120 families had come forward, the Department of Health said.