Names of wards at Gosport hospital changed ahead of report into 650 deaths

Gillian Kimbley with her daughter Debbie Wilson.''Picture: Malcolm Wells (180620-5237)
Gillian Kimbley with her daughter Debbie Wilson.''Picture: Malcolm Wells (180620-5237)
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NAMES of two wards linked to the deaths of hundreds of patients were changed in the lead-up to a major report being published.

Southern Health changed the names of Dryad and Daedalus wards at Gosport War Memorial Hospital, in Bury Road, ahead of the Gosport Independent Panel publishing its findings,

Daedalus is now Poppy ward and Dryad is now Rose.

Gillian Kimbley’s husband Robert Wilson, 75, died in 1998 at the hospital.

Gillian, 72, of Sarisbury Green, said: ‘Probably people think if they change the ward name it might be better.

‘I don’t like going to that hospital. I’ve been there a couple of times but I don’t like it. I try to keep away from it.’

A spokeswoman from the health trust said the previous names caused ‘anxiety’.

She said: ‘We started the process of changing the names of the wards at the beginning of the year as a result of feedback from staff, patients and carers.

‘Patients and carers fed back that when researching or finding out information about the wards today, a lot of the information focused on the incidents that were looked at as part of the Gosport Independent Panel report when the wards provided a different service under previous organisations.

‘This has caused some anxiety and required reassurance from staff about the care and services provided today by Southern Health which are currently rated good by CQC.

‘The wards have also recently undergone some environmental improvements so it was an ideal opportunity to engage with patients, carers and frontline staff on alternative names for the wards. They helped to prepared a shortlist of names and were then given the opportunity to vote on their preferred option.’

The names were changed in April, the spokeswoman said.