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Concerns raised into conduct of Gosport GP ahead of inquiry report

Ahead of inquiry into conduct of retired Gosport GP, Jane Barton, head of clinical negligence Suzanne White expresses shock at the small number of inquests into over 800 death certificates

Posted on 18 June 2018

Suzanne White, a clinical negligence specialist at law firm Leigh Day, has expressed her surprise after media reports suggest just 11 inquests were carried out in relation to over 800 death certificates completed by retired GP Dr Jane Barton.

The media reports come ahead of the conclusion to a £13million inquiry into the deaths which is due to be announced on 20 June 2018 by James Jones, a former bishop of Liverpool, followed by a statement by the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP. 

The government panel examined 833 death certificates after the previous investigation in 2013 left a number of questions “unanswered”.

Ms White, head of clinical negligence at Leigh Day said: “This has surely been torture for the families in question and I find it staggering that only a few inquests have been completed in relation to so many alleged deaths. The wider point of patient safety will have to be looked at and we await the statement by Mr Hunt into the circumstances surrounding these deaths."
Previous inquests held in 2009 and 2013 concluded that Dr Barton’s care had contributed to the death of six patients.

Furthermore, the GMC found Dr Barton guilty of “serious professional misconduct” in 2010 but she was not struck off.