Home secretary insists police assessing Gosport War Memorial Hospital deaths report must be '˜robust'

THE home secretary has said police must be '˜robust' while assessing evidence of the deaths of more than 456 patients at Gosport War Memorial Hospital.

Friday, 30th November 2018, 8:58 am
Updated Wednesday, 9th January 2019, 2:55 am
Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage meets with home secretary Sajid Javid about the deaths at Gosport War Memorial Hospital

It comes as Caroline Dinenage, Gosport MP, met with Sajid Javid to discuss progress since a panel found hundreds of patients had their lives shortened at the hospital between 1989-2001.

Bishop James Jones' four-year probe concluded in June the hospital showed a 'disregard for human life' as opioids were prescribed without medical justification.

After meeting with Ms Dinenage, the home secretary said: '˜Caroline has been a tireless campaigner for the truth into the events at the Gosport War Memorial Hospital.

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'˜Like so many I found the scale and depth of the panel report shocking.

'˜We must now ensure that the police investigations are robust; the families of the victims deserve nothing less.'

Just last week campaigners held a protest outside Downing Street, frustrated with the lack of progress since the summer.

Assistant chief constable Nick Downing, at Kent and Essex's Serious Crime Directorate, has been leading an assessment of the panel's findings.

Hampshire police recused itself from any possible investigation after its three probes were criticised by the independent panel.

Ms Dinenage said: '˜It was very useful meeting with the home secretary to fight for my constituents and ensure that this matter is being given the full attention it deserves.

'˜I also plan to meet with the assistant chief constable of Kent Constabulary in the coming weeks to hear further detail of investigations into these tragic events.'

Ann Reeves, 72, whose mother 88-year-old Elsie Devine died at the hospital, has said she feared the latest police intervention would just be '˜another paper chasing exercise'.

Government last week published its 34-page response to the panel's findings, promising to bolster protections for whistleblowers.