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Gosport Independent Panel

Chapter 1: Unheeded warnings, the nurses’ concerns and their context

Conclusion: what is added to public understanding

  • Following concerns first raised by Anita Tubbritt, a staff nurse working on Redclyffe Annexe, Sylvia Giffin, a fellow staff nurse, wrote to Isobel Evans, the Patient Care Manager, in February 1991 expressing concern over the prescribing and administration of drugs with syringe drivers.
  • The documents reviewed by the Panel show that, between that date and January 1992, a number of nurses raised concerns about the prescribing of drugs, in particular diamorphine. In so doing, the nurses involved, supported by their Royal College of Nursing branch convenor, gave the hospital the opportunity to rectify the practice. In choosing not to do so, the opportunity was lost, deaths resulted and, 22 years later, it became necessary to establish this Panel in order to discover the truth of what happened. The documents therefore tell a story of missed opportunity and unheeded warnings.
  • Gosport’s geography has shaped its history, particularly in terms of its military significance and its hospitals. The link between Gosport’s military and its hospitals is of very long standing. Gosport’s pride in its military connections was reflected in the naming of the wards at Gosport War Memorial Hospital and in holding the annual Remembrance Day service at the hospital. The pride of local people and their attachment to their hospital was illustrated by the successful campaign to save the hospital from closure in the 1990s and indeed its redevelopment in 1994.