Family's crusade to get to truth

A coroner has recorded a narrative verdict in the inquest of a pensioner who died in hospital.

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Coroner's verdict into hospital death

David Horsley, coroner for Portsmouth and South East Hampshire, ruled that the cause of death was bronchopneumonia.

In a narrative verdict, he added: "Factors contributing more than insignificantly to her death due to bronchopneumonia were:

"Accidental falls which she sustained at Glen Heathers Nursing Home in Lee-on-the-Solent on the 29th July, 1998 and at Gosport War Memorial Hospital on August 13, 1998.

"Procedures undertaken at Haslar Hospital, Gosport to treat the injuries she suffered as a result of those falls.

"Her immobility subsequent to those procedures.

"Medication administered to her at Gosport War Memorial Hospital for the control of her pain and agitation.

"Her old age, frailty and end-stage dementia."


A long campaign for inquest

Gladys Richards' daughters, Gillian Mackenzie and Lesley O'Brien, have campaigned for several years for a full inquest to be held into her death.

Mrs Mackenzie, 79, of Eastbourne, East Sussex, has questioned during the Portsmouth inquest whether the medical staff operated a policy of euthanasia and has accused the staff of "condemning" her mother to death through the palliative medication prescribed.

Coroner rules over pensioner death

A coroner has ruled that medication given to an elderly patient at a Hampshire hospital contributed "more than insignificantly" to her death.

Gladys Richards, 91, was taken to the Gosport War Memorial Hospital (GWMH) in August 1998 for recuperation following a hip operation after she had a fall.

She died four days later.

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