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Published on 8 June 2009

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Doctor to face hearing over deaths


A senior doctor is to face a fitness to practise hearing for allegedly over-prescribing painkillers at a hospital where medication contributed to the deaths of five patients.

Dr Jane Barton was in charge of care at the Gosport War Memorial Hospital when the five people died in the late 1990s.

An inquest jury at Portsmouth Coroner’s Court in April heard that the medication given “more than minimally” contributed to the deaths of five patients, and in three cases inappropriate painkillers for their condition or symptoms was responsible.

The panel also found that the medication had been administered for therapeutic reasons and that it was not a factor in the deaths of five other patients who died between January 1996 and November 1999.

Dr Barton is to face a General Medical Council hearing which will look at the treatment of 12 patients and examine a number of allegations including whether she gave starting doses of diamorphine which were too high.

It will also be considered whether the dosage range she prescribed was too wide and whether she consulted colleagues when a patient’s condition deteriorated.

Copyright Press Association 2009

Gosport War Memorial Hospital

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