More than 450 people died as a result of hospital's drug policies

Ksenia Novikova
Jun 28, 2018
10:02 A.M.
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At least 456 people were killed by medically unnecessary opiates over a 12-year-period at Gosport War Memorial Hospital in Hampshire.


The Report of the Gosport Independent Panel revealed whistleblowers and families were ignored as they attempted to raise concerns about the administration of medication on the wards, overseen by Dr. Jane Barton.

Investigations found out that patients were given diamorphine through a syringe-driver which pumped out doses that had not been fine-tuned to each patient’s needs.

According to the report, there was a “pattern of anticipatory prescribing”, in which nurses were authorized to provide the drugs in increasing amounts without oversight


Dr. Jane Barton was found guilty of failings in her care of 12 patients at Gosport between 1996 and 1999. She was not struck off the medical register but chose to retire after the findings.

However, the report found that between 1988 and 2000, at least 450 patients at the hospital had their lives shortened as a result of being prescribed powerful opioids without medical justification.


Some patients were expecting to stay for just a few weeks’ rehabilitation before returning home. The report’s sickening conclusion is that there was “a disregard for human life” at the hospital.

The syringe drivers used for years in Gosport and elsewhere to administer constant sedation were faulty. A malfunctioning device could deliver a 24-hour diamorphine dose in an hour, in one fatal shot.


An official investigation concluded that because of ambiguous measurements and faults in the devices, it was easy to overlook mistakes in administering drugs, and they were dispensed by the syringes much faster than nurses and doctors realized.

The inquiry into the Gosport deaths unearthed an astonishing catalog of failure, arrogance, incompetence and indifference from medical staff, health officials, local politicians and the police.

The report criticized pharmacists, nurses, and consultants for dispensing the drugs, administering them or turning a blind eye.

It said families were “powerless” in their relationships with professional staff and were “consistently let down.” Read more on our Twitter account @amomama_usa