THE doctor at the centre of the Gosport War Memorial Hospital scandal where hundreds of patients died was seen sprinting away from a reporter as she was quizzed about her role in the deaths by BBC Panorama.
Dr Jane Barton refused to answer questions to explain how 450 patients died at the hospital after being given ‘dangerous’ levels of drugs before her husband Tim Barton stepped in to defend her.
‘Are you suggesting she murdered them?’ he replied to a question before fobbing the reporter off.
The BBC programme was investigating the scandal following an inquiry last year. The News then launched its Now For Justice campaign which seeks resolution of the victims’ families – many of whom are determined to see justice prevail.
Gillian Mackenzie, whose mother Gladys Richards died at the hospital, told Panorama: ‘I want Barton charged and brought before a criminal court for murder.’
The suffering Ms Mackensie has endured since that fateful day was exacerbated after her attempts to convince Hampshire police of foul-play fell on deaf ears – resulting in more sinister deaths.
‘There were 60 more deaths after I told the police. I tried to convince them to look into it. I’m upset that I didn’t do something or say something more to convince them,’ she said.
The documentary highlighted various cases where patients were admitted in non-life threatening conditions before being dealt an unwarranted lethal doses of painkillers admitted via a syringe driver which resulted in their deaths.
Dennis Brickwood was another of those who was attending the hospital to recover from a hip operation before being given an overdose of a drug – leaving his family shocked at his death. ‘It’s awful,’ his son Graham said. ‘He wasn’t ready to go.’
Nurse testaments from the scandal were highlighted by the programme. ‘Deaths hastened unnecessarily,’ one said.
Another added: ‘Patient was given diamorphine when not in pain.’
Former assistant chief constable Steve Watts, who led the third and largest investigation into 94 deaths, said: ‘I think (the evidence) is strong enough now, I think it was strong enough then, and I think there was an overriding public interest in doing so.’