Intended for healthcare professionals


Gosport hospital: GP prescribed opioids that shortened at least 456 lives

BMJ 2018; 361 doi: (Published 20 June 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;361:k2706


Patients or families raising the alarm are vital voices who must be heard

  1. Clare Dyer
  1. The BMJ

An independent inquiry into deaths at a Hampshire hospital caring for elderly people has found that at least 456 patients had their lives shortened by being given large doses of opioids that were not medically indicated.1

The investigation found “an institutionalised practice of the shortening of lives through prescribing and administering opioids without medical justification” at Gosport War Memorial Hospital from 1989 to 2000, said James Jones, former bishop of Liverpool, who headed the inquiry panel. Taking into account missing records, probably at least another 200 patients had their lives cut short by the practice, which had become the norm at the hospital, the panel concluded.

A local GP, Jane …

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