Intended for healthcare professionals


Inquest begins into deaths after concerns about diamorphine prescribing

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 03 March 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b903
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

    An inquest will begin this month into the deaths of 10 elderly patients at a community hospital in Hampshire in the late 1990s, amid concerns over levels of prescribing of diamorphine and other drugs.

    The 10, who died between 1996 and 1999, were among 92 who died after they were given large doses of drugs at Gosport War Memorial Hospital. The inquest, which opens on 18 March and is expected to last six weeks, was ordered by the justice secretary, Jack Straw.

    Police investigations carried out between 1998 and 2002 were initially sparked by a complaint from a patient’s relative, who accused staff of unlawful killing. The Crown Prosecution Service decided …

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