Gosport War Memorial Hospital: Families protest outside Parliament after ‘laughable’ government ‘tribute’ following more than 450 deaths

Bridget Reeves outside Parliament for the protest on Saturday. Picture: @bee_devine on Twitter
Bridget Reeves outside Parliament for the protest on Saturday. Picture: @bee_devine on Twitter

FAMILIES of the hundreds of patients who died after being treated at Gosport War Memorial Hospital have united to protest outside Parliament as they continue their battle for justice.

More than 450 patients died at the hospital between 1989 and 2000 after being prescribed ‘lethal’ doses of opioids, while the practice ‘probably’ shortened 200 more lives.

On Saturday, Bridget Reeves joined demonstrators from as far as Wales and Scotland to highlight the deaths and the years of failed investigations into them. 

Her grandmother Elsie Devine died following treatment at the hospital aged 88, in 1999.

‘Saturday was an important day for us – we had huge support,’ Bridget said. 

READ MORE: Gosport War Memorial Hospital: very death to be investigated as government makes ’profound’ apology for tragic scandal

‘But we need a meeting with Theresa May and Matt Hancock now because they have to hear all this from our mouths.’

Many campaigners were shocked on Wednesday when health secretary Mr Hancock announced the publication of the Learning from Gosport report, despite not all families of those lost after Gosport being informed in advance.

The 34-page document is the government’s response to the findings of the Gosport Independent Panel released in June, which highlighted the scandal’s death toll.

In a foreword written by Mr Hancock the document is described ’in part’ as a ‘tribute to the Gosport families and those who have supported them’, which Bridget said is ‘laughable’. 

READ MORE: Gosport hospital deaths: This is why it took decades for claims to be investigated

‘They don’t want to meet the families yet they say this is a tribute, it’s totally disgusting,’ Bridget said. 

‘We were not informed about this document and I believe the reason they did not tell families is because we would have moved this protest to Wednesday, outside Parliament.’ 

Bridget said the report marked a ‘very dark day’ as it coincided with the anniversary of her grandmother’s death. 

While no conviction or liability has followed the deaths at Gosport, Mr Hancock said on Wednesday all deaths will be investigated.

READ MORE: ​​​​​​​Gosport hospital deaths: More than 100,000 people back families’ call for justice

But until justice is done in the eyes of families of those lost, Bridget’s desire to protest deaths like her grandmother’s remains as strong as ever. 

‘Until the blood runs out of my body I will keep fighting,’ she said.