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Gosport doctor ‘was working in inadequately resourced part of health service’

A statement on behalf of Dr Jane Barton said she was ‘doing her best’ for patients.

A doctor implicated in a scandal at Gosport Memorial Hospital has claimed she was working in a “very inadequately resourced” part of the NHS.

Jane Barton said she was a “hard-working doctor” who was “doing her best” for patients.

A damning report into the scandal published last week concluded that hundreds of patients had their lives shortened after being prescribed powerful painkillers.

Dr Barton appeared outside her Gosport home, where a statement was read out.

Her husband Tim gave a statement which said: “Jane would like to thank her family, friends, colleagues, former patients and many others for their continued support and loyalty through this protracted inquiry.

She has always maintained that she was a hard working doctor doing her best for her patients in a very inadequately resourced part of the health service Jane Barton's husband Tim

“She has always maintained that she was a hard working doctor doing her best for her patients in a very inadequately resourced part of the health service.

“We ask that our privacy is respected at this difficult time, she will be making no comment.”

Bridget Devine-Reeves, whose grandmother died at the hospital, criticised Dr Barton for failing to show any sympathy for the families of those who died at the hospital.

She said: “She has made no mention of the families or put any sense of empathy into her statement, which doesn’t surprise me as she never has done.

“We have been here for a very long time and it’s very unfortunate, she will give her comment, the families will respond, it shouldn’t go on like this, it should be in a criminal court.

“We want all those people who did nothing when the families complained to be made accountable.”

Mrs Devine-Reeves added that Dr Barton’s comments regarding a “very inadequately resourced part of the health service” were inappropriate.

She said: “The first ward that she started this ‘institutional regime of prescribing drugs that ended life’ was a small care home ward.”

More than 450 people had their lives shortened after being prescribed the powerful painkillers at the Hampshire hospital, while another 200 were “probably” similarly given opioids between 1989 and 2000 without medical justification, according to the Gosport Independent Panel report.

The report claimed “there was a disregard for human life and a culture of shortening lives of a large number of patients” at the hospital.

It stated there was an “institutionalised regime of prescribing and administering ‘dangerous doses’ of a hazardous combination of medication not clinically indicated or justified”.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the police would examine new material found in the report.

On Thursday last week, Hampshire Constabulary said that any new inquiry would be investigated by a new force following criticism of its previous inquiries.

In 2010, the General Medical Council ruled that Dr Barton, who has since retired, was guilty of multiple instances of professional misconduct relating to 12 patients who died at the hospital.

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