Gosport War Memorial Hospital deaths: Families to march on Downing Street with petition demanding prosecutions over hundreds of deaths

Bridget Devine-Reeves speaking after the Gosport Independent Panel's report on Gosport War Memorial Hospital was published in June. Her mother Ann Reeves pictured right. Picture: Malcolm Wells
Bridget Devine-Reeves speaking after the Gosport Independent Panel's report on Gosport War Memorial Hospital was published in June. Her mother Ann Reeves pictured right. Picture: Malcolm Wells

FAMILIES of patients who died at Gosport War Memorial Hospital are calling for the prime minister to give them more support.

Ann Reeves and her daughter Bridget Devine-Reeves are today travelling to London to hand over a petition and letter to Downing Street for Theresa May.

It comes after Ann’s mother 88-year-old Elsie Devine was among the 456 patients who had their lives shortened through the use of opioids without medical justification between 1989 and 2000 at the Gosport hospital.

Their petition has received 101,591 signatures and calls for criminal prosecution to start over the deaths.

Determined Bridget, from Fareham, said: ‘There are a number of issues since the Gosport Independent Panel published its report in June.

‘There has been no support offered to the families to date. There has been no legal representation or offer of help over criminal proceedings.

‘The agencies mentioned in the report can now see the panel’s evidence which makes up the report and will have their legal teams going through it. We would like some support to do the same.’

As previously reported in The News, the Gosport Independent Panel led by Bishop James Jones found there was a ‘disregard for human life’ during the time period they were investigating.

As well as the confirmed 456 patients, a further 200 could also have had their lives shortened due to opioids being administered.

Bridget, 42, said the petition, and the support it received, showed families are not stopping with their campaigns. She said: ‘We are going to carry on fighting for justice and even more so now it has been exposed.’

A spokesman for the government said they will continue to work with families to ensure they get the support they need.

‘What happened was a terrible tragedy,’ he said.

‘While the Attorney General is accountable to parliament for the CPS’s work, they are operationally independent and therefore he cannot intervene on an individual case or direct their inquiries regardless of circumstances.

‘If the police refer any new evidence to the CPS, they will consider it fully.’