A report has been found that states that more than 450 patients have died at Gosport War Memorial Hospital in Hampshire, UK because of wrongful high dosages of powerful painkillers.
An independent panel formed in 2014 suggests that another 200 patients might have suffered the same fate.
Reports show that between 1989 and 2000, the hospital showed a blatant “disregard for human life” of a large number of patients.
Dr. Jane Barton was responsible for prescribing the painkillers in the wards.
Theresa May, the Prime Minister, has apologized for the incident, calling it “deeply troubling”.
Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, has said that the MPs Police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) would look into the matter and examine every detail and come to a conclusion. The further steps in the investigation and whether or not criminal charges would be brought would also be looked into.
Bridget Reeves, grand-daughter of Elsie Divine, 88, who was among the victims, calls the situation “horrifying”, “shameful” and “unforgivable”.
Between the years 1996 and 1999, 12 patients were not cured for properly by Dr. Barton and she is the only person to have faced disciplinary actions, although no prosecutions were made and she chose to retire after the aforementioned findings.
The Gosport Independent Panel was formed in 2014 and was led by former Liverpool Bishop, James Jones.
The reports submitted show that families were constantly let down by the authorities and their concerns and cries fell on deaf ears.
Inquiries were made between 1998 and 2006 regarding the death of 96 patients but no prosecutions were made even then.
This particular incident has been compared to the Shipman case, when GP Harold Shipman was jailed for having killed 15 patients between 1994 and 1998.
Some senior nurses had earlier raised concerns regarding the injection of diamorphine—the medical name for heroin—but their cries were unheeded to. The “truly shocking” findings, as Jeremy Hunt describes them, have now come to light. He said that the Department of Health underwent a “catalogue of failures”. Questions have also been raised as to why it has taken 10 years for the incident to be made public.
Apart from hundreds of death certificates, the independent panel also analyzed reports and documents from the police, coroners, the NHS and other organizations.