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Eastbourne & Willingdon Lib Dems

Lloyd backs daughter's call for public inquiry into her mother's death

October 8, 2009 6:48 PM

Stephen Lloyd pictured with Mrs. Gillian Mackenzie, going through various documentation relating to her mothers’ case.Eastbourne parliamentary candidate Stephen Lloyd has thrown his weight behind calls for a public inquiry into the unlawful death of the mother of Eastbourne resident Gillian MacKenzie.

Mrs Mackenzie, of Kings Drive, has been campaigning for eleven years to see justice carried out following the death of her mother, Mrs Gladys Richards, at the Gosport War Memorial Hospital in Hampshire on August 19th, 1998, where she was under the care of then Clinical Assistant Dr. Jane Barton.

Last month the General Medical Council (GMC) found Dr. Barton guilty of widely prescribing powerful painkillers and sedatives to elderly residents at the hospital over a number of years, including to Gillian Mackenzie's mother. The GMC said that Dr. Barton's actions were "inappropriate, hazardous and not in the best interests of the patients".

Despite the damning report, the Council is yet to decide what action to take and whether or not to strike Dr. Barton from the medical register.

Parliamentary campaigner Stephen Lloyd said, "It is wholly unacceptable that Mrs Mackenzie and the other relatives of those who died have to wait to get any sort of justice from the GMC inquiry."

"Working with the lawyers representing the families and the Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary of State for Health, Norman Lamb MP, I am calling for a public inquiry into the death of Mrs Mackenzie's mother and the others who so tragically died whilst under the care of Dr. Barton."

"I will also be asking that the Crown Prosecution Service consider bringing criminal proceedings over this tragic case. In pursuit of this I have arranged a meeting with Norman Lamb MP, the lawyers representing the victims, Mrs Mackenzie and some of the other relatives at his Westminster Office."

Gillian Mackenzie, who has lived in Eastbourne for more than twenty years, has been campaigning for justice ever since she first raised concerns about the care their mother was receiving at the hospital when she was admitted on 11th August 1998, just ten days before she died.

Gillian said, "When my mother was admitted to Gosport's hospital, I soon noticed that the care offered to my mother was focused around strong, morphine-based painkillers, which I later discovered were totally unnecessary for my mother's condition and in my opinion brought on an unnecessarily early death."

A medical expert who later reviewed the case on behalf of the Hampshire Police Enquiry, commented that "Doctor Jane Barton prescribed the drugs Diamorphine, Haloperidol, Midazolam and Hyoscine for Mrs Gladys Richards in a manner as to cause her death" and that "as a result of being given these drugs, Mrs Mackenzie's mother, Mrs Richards, was unlawfully killed".

Mrs Gillian Mackenzie kick-started the three police investigations into the deaths of Dr. Barton's patients but no charges were ever brought. A damning report by the then 'Commission for Health Improvement' eventually resulted in the start of a full GMC investigation, when Dr. Barton was initially barred from prescribing painkillers, including morphine and diazepam.

Stephen Lloyd added, "It is time that justice is finally served so that the memory of Gillian's mother and the other relatives can be put to rest once and for all. We will not rest until a full public inquiry takes place and criminal charges are brought."