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"Hillsborough" style inquiry into deaths at hospital

A formal review has been launched into a number of suspicious deaths at the Gosport War Memorial Hospital in Hampshire.

Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb announced that an inquiry is to be held into the deaths of a number of elderly patients at the hospital between 1988 and 2000.

The investigation will be led by former bishop of Liverpool the Rt Rev James Jones, who previously chaired the Hillsborough Independent Panel into the disaster.

He has already started work with the affected families.

The investigation, which is expected to take around two years, will review the evidence held by a number of organisations, Mr Lamb said.

The terms of reference for the review will be published in the autumn.

Norman Lamb said:

The events at Gosport War Memorial hospital have caused immense distress to the families of the patients who died. I was deeply concerned by the findings of the Baker report, and I am confident that the appointment of Bishop James Jones to chair this independent process will help answer the many questions of the families affected by these shocking events."

– Norman Lamb, Care and Support Minister

Statement to the House of Commons by Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt MP on Gosport War Memorial Hospital inquiry

Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, will outline the scope of the inquiry in a Commons statement Credit: PA Wire

A written statement will be delivered to the House of Commons today by the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt. The Surrey South West MP's announcement follows years of campaigning from the relatives of those who died at the Gosport War Memorial Hospital in Hampshire during the 1990s.

It's believed the inquiry has been commissioned by the care minister, Norman Lamb MP, who has asked the former Bishop of Liverpool to investigate after an audit on the number of deaths at the hospital more than fifteen years ago.

Relatives of many who died believe they were prescribed painkillers, including morphine and other powerful drugs, to shorten their lives, even if they were not in pain. Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, has joined calls for more information about what happened at the hospital.

In 2003 a report was published into the medical regime at the hospital. It had been commissioned by the Chief Medical Officer after concerns were first raised in 1998. It was coordinated by Professor Richard Baker from the University of Leicester.

His report concluded that there was an almost routine use of opiates and evidence of the practice had been found from as early as 1998. He said it shortened the lives of some patients - a small number of who would have been discharged from the hospital alive. He made a number of recommendations:

These included that investigations into the deaths of individual patients should continue. He also asked for the rota patterns of doctors working at the hospital at the time should be examined to explore the pattern of deaths.

He also said hospital teams who care for patients at the end of the lives should have explicit policies on the use of opiate medication and that there should be national guidelines to help develop local policies.


Inquiry into deaths at Gosport War Memorial Hospital

Concerns were raised into the deaths of elderly patients at Gosport War Memorial Hospital Credit: PA

A Hillsborough-style inquiry is to be set up investigate up to 100 deaths at the Gosport War Memorial Hospital.

Relatives of elderly patients who died at the hospital during the 1990s have long campaigned for an inquiry and it is expected to announced by the Government today.

Concerns were first raised about the use of opiates among elderly patients at the hospital.

Led by the Right Rev James Jones, the former Bishop of Liverpool, the inquiry will examine cases at the hospital dating back to 1991.

Students compete in human-powered submarine race

The submarine race sees nearly 100 students go head-to-head underwater Credit: eISR

Students are used to competing against other universities but today will see a different kind of race - with students furiously pedalling in submarines along the sea bed.

It's all part of an international submarine race in Gosport in what is Europe's biggest covered water freshwater space.

Students from universities around the world will battle to win this unique engineering and sporting event - where pilots in SCUBA gear pedal in a huge tank the size of a football pitch.

Competing teams have come from Canada, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, USA as well as Bath, Plymouth and Warwick.

Coffee morning raises thousands with popstar's support

I expected to do a coffee morning with a few cakes and raise around £500. We just couldn’t believe it when the money kept going up and up – we were texting each other saying can you believe this is happening. The big hit for us was Billy Ocean supporting us – he was so lovely and it really kick-started everything. It was very humbling because everyone we met had a connection with cancer in some way and there was no-one who wasn’t happy to help in some way.

– Sharon, fundraiser

Billy Ocean gives coffee morning unexpected boost

Billy Ocean meets the fundraisers Credit: Polymedia

Fundraisers, who decided to hold a coffee morning to support a cancer charity, ended up bringing in £10,000 after it got Billy Ocean's backing. The group had a surprise when the recording artist turned up at the event at Bunn Leisure Holiday Park in West Sussex.

Billy Ocean, who was performing at the park, gave organisers his support by posing for photos and offering a signed shirt for auction.


Exclusive: The Mayor banned from his town's pubs or clubs says "I was neither drunk not threatening".

The Mayor of Gosport Wayne Ronayne has been telling ITV Meridian that he was "neither drunk or disorderly" when he was banned from his town's pubs and clubs.

Speaking exclusively to us, he said he wanted to tell his side of the story. He is appealing against a six month ban, imposed by Pub Watch, a group made up of local publicans.

His partner, Mayoress Paula Carter has been told she can't step into a bar or club in Gosport for 12 months. Both deny improper behaviour.

Liberal Democrat councillor Peter Chegwyn says the Mayor should resign.

But Mr Ronayne says he's a hard working councillor at Gosport Borough Council and does not need to step down.

So what exactly happened on the night - and what now for a councillor elected Mayor? Mr Ronayne tells us his side of the story.

Gosport Mayor: "I was neither drunk nor threatening"

Cllr Wayne Ronayne wishes it to be known, that whilst he was in company with a group of family and friends post the Mayor Making ceremony on Wednesday last week, he was neither drunk, abusive or threatening to any one at any time. Furthermore, he did not witness any abusive or threatening behaviour by any of those who were in his company. Wayne has secured a witness statement of the events of the entire evening and has submitted a request in writing for an appeal against the 6 month ban imposed by Pub Watch.

– Spokesperson for Wayne Ronayne

In regard to the Mayoress, Paula Carter, Cllr Ronayne states that he will not allow her to be the focus of further allegations which may be subjective.

– Spokesperson for Wayne Ronayne

Gosport Mayor banned from pubs just hours into office

The Mayor of Gosport and the Lady Mayoress Credit: Gosport Borough Council

There are calls tonight for the Mayor of Gosport to resign after he was banned from the town's pubs just hours after taking office. Tory Councillor, Wayne Ronayne, was in a group asked to leave The Star in the High Street following the mayor-making ceremony.

The organisation Pubwatch says the mayor has been banned from the town's pubs for six months. The Mayoress, Paula Carter, has been banned for a year.

The Mayor says he was neither drunk nor abusive and he's appealing the ban. But Lib Dems on the council are calling for resignations.

Teenager arrested after fire in block of derelict flats

Derelict flats set on on fire Credit: Hampshire Fire and Rescue

A 16 year-old has been arrested for arson after fire broke out in a block of derelict flats in Gosport.

Emergency services were called to Livingstone Court, Grange Road, Rowner, where smoke was seen coming from a derelict block of flats in the court, which is being demolished at the moment,

Firefighters at scene of suspected arson in Gosport Credit: Hampshire Fire and Rescue

Officers investigating the cause of the fire, which started in a third floor flat, have arrested a 16-year-old boy on suspicion of arson; he has been released on bail.

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