Gosport findings ‘shocking and devastating’

We have all be shocked by the revelations about the inappropriate treatment of elderly patients at Gosport War Memorial Hospital. Here is Norman Lamb talking about the way the NHS closed ranks when he was Health Minister, and how he called for the enquiry that has just been completed.

We also have some quotes from him:

The findings are shocking and devastating in equal measure – both in terms of the 456 patients who had opioids prescribed inappropriately, but also the disgraceful closing of ranks to stop families from getting to the truth.

Never again must we allow a situation to develop where ordinary people are left in the dark, ignored and not listened to.

We must ensure that there is some mechanism to guarantee that whenever allegations of wrongdoing are raised by people, they are listened to and their concerns are investigated thoroughly.

I will be asking to meet with the Prime Minister, together with those families affected, to discuss the implications of this report.

The campaigner, Gillian Mackenzie, lives in Stephen Lloyd’s Eastbourne constituency, and he has been writing about it in The Independent. “Ten years ago, a woman told me about the deaths that were happening at Gosport. I struggled to believe her – then I read what she’d gathered

He writes:

I will keep up the fight so the individuals at the centre of this web of horror are brought to book and one day, I hope, face their accusers in court.

* Mary Reid is a contributing editor on Lib Dem Voice. She was a councillor in Kingston upon Thames, where she is still very active with the local party, and is the Hon President of Kingston Lib Dems.

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  • “Shocking and devastating” hardly begins to describe the true horror of the events that have taken place in Gosport.
    Unfortunately we live in times when there is group think about any issue relating to the NHS. Anyone who suggests that problems within the NHS may be deep seated and can not be solved simply by throwing a few million more at it are condemned as right wing, anti state Tories who are disrespecting nurses. Lowest of the low. It would be better to confess that your favourite hobby was putting day old kittens in a bag and throwing them in the river.
    So I will say just this. make a list for yourself of all the problems that have blighted the NHS in the past 5 years or so. Here’s three to get you going. Difficulty getting a GP’s appointment. Poor survival rates for many cancers. Lack of mental health services. Endless waiting at A & E. (OK, that was 4). Keep going, there’s plenty more, including the really heavy stuff.
    Now, ask yourself, will Theresa May’s extra millions sort this ? If not, how ,many extra million do we need ? And where’s it coming from ? (Anyone who said “tax the bankers”, please leave the room now.)
    Then ask yourself this : It’s 1945, you are going to build a comprehensive, national health service, free at the point of access, from scratch. Knowing what we know now, what would it look like ?

  • John Marriott 21st Jun '18 - 6:51pm

    If we are ever to get the kind of NHS we need, the medical profession has got to fess up. The problem is that we live in a litigious age. No wonder that it often closes ranks or plays safety first. However, if it is going to receive the funds it needs it has to look closely at itself, just as the public in general needs to realise that sadly mistakes can be made, especially when dealing with complex procedures that were largely science fiction when the NHS was born. Playing God brings its own risks.

  • David Evans 22nd Jun '18 - 7:46am

    This story shows exactly why having Lib Dems who are prepared to face up to very difficult situations is vital for our country. Stephen Lloyd exemplifies that, he was not even an MP at the time his constituent, Gillian Mackenzie, came to him with her dossier.

    But he read it in depth and supported her even though the NHS, Hampshire police and the rest of the establishment were unwilling to face up to the unpalatable truth, that patients had been killed by an organisation and individuals within it who were supposed to protect people.

    I had a debate on another article with a Lib Dem who was adamant that Lib Dems ‘who believe in people’ should simply trust local councils to employ competent staff, and I pointed out that this was naive. He pointed out how he had never had any concerns when he was a councillor and he was adamant that his view was correct. Gosport shows exactly how wrong that point of view is.

    If Lib Dems serve only one vital purpose, it has to be to be the voice of the individual against the system, and assuming the bureaucracy is just fine is totally the wrong starting point. Well done to Stephen Lloyd and Norman Lamb, they deserve to be MPs simply because of this one story, never mind all the other things they do as well.

    I congratulate both them and that very determined lady, Gillian Mackenzie, for their efforts so far and wish them every success in their efforts to make sure the medical practitioners responsible are held to account for their disgraceful actions.

  • Richard Underhill 22nd Jun '18 - 12:13pm

    Chris Cory: In 1945 many houses had been damaged or destroyed by bombing and many undamaged slums were unhealthy. Housing was therefore part of the Ministry of Health.
    What to do?
    if Liberal send the world’s most brilliant economist to the USA and ask them to pay for it.
    If Labour, consider local government.
    If Conservative, support the doctors opposition to nationalisation.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 22nd Jun '18 - 1:12pm

    Excellent from Mary Reid , great she is here , now, miss her, and from Norman Lamb, looking well talking as ever intelligently.

    The comments above are this party and philosophy at best. Not left knee jerk nor right knee jerk.

    Wrongdoing and evil are on the left and right , in the public and private sectors. Eulogising about the NHS is as daft as demonising. We see too much of the former in response to some of the latter.

    The public sector closes ranks at its peril. It defeats the purpose and plays into the hands of those who think a jobs for life mentality plagues its sector.

    The NHS model, as Chris Cory says here is not good but the ethos should be. Too many tales prove this is not so often.

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