A retired GP accused of being responsible for ‘hundreds of deaths’ at Gosport hospital should be prosecuted, says the MP of one of the victims.
Dr Jane Barton, 69, has been accused of prescribing deadly doses of diamorphine – a powerful opiate painkiller – to patients when she worked at the hospital near Portsmouth in the 1990s.
The “brusque, unfriendly and indifferent” doctor is expected to be named as the person responsible for the shortening of possibly hundreds of lives, following a £13 million investigation, according to a report in The Sunday Times.
Inquests in 2009 and 2013 into 11 of the deaths ruled medication prescribed by Dr Barton had contributed to six patients dying.
Dr Barton was found guilty of “multiple instances of serious professional misconduct” by the General Medical Council in 2010 but was not struck off and soon retired.
Much of the evidence at the fitness to practice panel concerned her “brusque, unfriendly and indifferent” manner, her “intransigence and worrying lack of insight” into the effects of her actions and her inability to “recognise the limits of her professional competence”.
Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd, a supporter of Gillian McKenzie, 84, whose mother Gladys Richards died suddenly in 1998 after she was transferred to the Gosport War Memorial Hospital following a hip operation, said: “If this is true, not only would I expect charges to be brought, I will lobby for it actively in parliament,” Mr Lloyd said.
“I will be tabling an early day motion the following day and pushing very, very hard for criminal charges, if the report is as suggested,” the Liberal Democrat frontbencher added.
The independent government panel was led by James Jones, the former bishop of Liverpool and chairman of the Hillsborough Inquiry into the deaths of 96 football fans in 1989.
It examined 833 death certificates signed by Dr Barton during the period when she worked at the hospital.
The number of people who died under suspicious circumstances is expected to exceed the 92 cases already looked by police, whose previous investigation left a number of “unanswered questions” and led to accusations of a cover-up.
It is not suggested that Dr Barton is guilty of murder, and she declined to comment when contacted by The Daily Telegraph.
Healthcare workers who may have acted on Barton’s alleged instructions have also been drawn into the inquest, The Sunday Times claimed.
A source close to inquiry told reporters that Barton will not be referred to the police or the Crown Prosecution, as it is beyond the body’s remit.
It came as Dori Graham, 86, told the newspaper that her husband, Leonard, was killed after receiving care from Barton and a fatal injection.
She said: “Len said he wasn’t in pain but they gave him the injection anyway. I sat there. Within a few minutes he was dead.”
Bridget Reeves said her 88-year-old grandmother, Elsie Devine, was killed at Gosport in 1999, and called for Barton to be prosecuted.
Bishop Jones will inform the families of the results of his investigation in a closed session at Portsmouth Cathedral on Wednesday.
Theresa May is expected to refer to the finding during Prime Minister’s Questions later the same day, with Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt also expected to give a statement.
Article Source : https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/06/17/retired-gp-accused-responsible-hundreds-deaths-gosport-hospital/