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Eastbourne & Willingdon Lib Dems

Lloyd helps secure formal inquiry for local resident.

July 15, 2014 4:07 PM

Last week, Health Minister Norman Lamb MP announced an inquiry into deaths at Gosport War Memorial Hospital following years of campaigning by a local Eastbourne resident Mrs Gillian MacKenzie and Stephen Lloyd MP.

Mrs MacKenzie first came to Stephen for assistance in 2009 before he was elected MP for Eastbourne and Willingdon. Her elderly mother had been admitted to Gosport in 1998, but unexpectedly passed away a short while later, leading to concerns that she had died from inappropriately administered medication. Subsequently to Mrs MacKenzie raising this with the MP, many others also came forward to express concerns about apparently premature deaths at the hospital, as well as concerns over a potential cover-up by the local NHS Trust and police.

Stephen Lloyd was very disturbed by the allegations and decided to press the case. He introduced Mrs MacKenzie and other families to Norman Lamb MP when he was the Lib Dem Shadow Minister for Health. Stephen has maintained this pressure in the years since being elected and last week an inquiry into the 'higher than expected death rates' at this hospital between 1998 and 2000 was formally announced by Mr Lamb in Parliament. He is now a Minister for Health in the Coalition Government. It was also announced that the inquiry will be chaired by Bishop James Jones, who led the similar panel that investigated events at the Hillsborough Stadium Disaster.

Stephen said: "When Gillian came to see me all those years ago, I felt it in my bones that something was seriously amiss, although on first glance I had no idea just how complex the issue was. Thankfully when I introduced the whole troubling detail of the case to Mr Lamb he was utterly supportive and determined in his desire, like me, to get to the bottom of whatever happened in Gosport all those years ago. I look forward to the inquiry getting underway."

He added: "Mrs MacKenzie is an amazing woman - her tenacity and her dedication to ensure we get to the truth of what may have happened to her mother and so many other elderly people who were treated at the Gosport War Memorial Hospital is hugely impressive. It has been a privilege to help her and I am really hopeful that this inquiry will bring justice to Gillian and all the other families involved."

Mrs MacKenzie said: "When I received the telephone call that morning that Mother was just going down to Theatre for hip surgery, my first reaction was one of concern. However my mother made a remarkable recovery having had the same new procedure and technique carried out as on the Queen Mother! Within a very short time she was fit enough to be discharged back to her residential home, but I wanted time to find an alternative Home with the emphasis on qualified Nursing. It was arranged that my Mother should go to the Gosport War Memorial Hospital for a period of '2-4 weeks or perhaps 6 weeks but not a day more'. What happened next was quite horrific. "

She added: "After investigating and trying to get somewhere myself without success for a period of approximately 8 years, I approached Stephen before he became my MP. He listened and contacted Norman Lamb which resulted in an interview together with 3 other families in Westminster. The MP for Gosport at the time was Mr. Peter Viggers, who certainly gave an impression of being more interested in the welfare of his ducks than his constituents! Mr. Lamb and Stephen Lloyd have been fantastic in their support of me personally and we are seeing action on a dreadful situation which, I am sure, will eventually go down in history."