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Doctor avoids charges over deaths


A doctor found guilty of serious professional misconduct in connection with the deaths of five elderly patients at a Hampshire Hospital will not face criminal charges, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.

An inquest jury concluded that drugs prescribed by Jane Barton, who has since retired, contributed to the deaths of patients at Gosport War Memorial Hospital in the late 1990s.

Earlier this year, the General Medical Council (GMC) also ruled that Dr Barton was guilty of multiple instances of professional misconduct relating to a total of 12 patients who died at the hospital.

The panel found a catalogue of failings in her treatment of the patients, who later died, including issuing drugs that were “excessive, inappropriate and potentially hazardous”.

The failings included inadequate examinations of patients, failing to consult colleagues and poor note-keeping.

But instead of being struck off, she was given a list of 11 conditions relating to her practice, including not being able to administer opiates by injection.

The CPS, which has reviewed the case for the third time, said there was “insufficient evidence to prosecute” after a review of the evidence from the GMC hearing.

Copyright Press Association 2010

Crown Prosecution Service

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