Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage has today welcomed a statement from the Department of Health giving more details about the Independent Panel which has been launched to investigate deaths at Gosport War Memorial Hospital.
Following the publication of Professor Richard Baker's report in August 2013, which looked into the unexpected deaths of a number of elderly patients in the 1990s, the Department of Health held consultation sessions with the families involved, facilitating discussions on how the case should be taken forward.
In July, Health Minister, Norman Lamb MP announced that a Hillsborough-style panel would be setup to review documentary evidence held by a number of organisations. The Panel will be chaired by Bishop James Jones who led the Hillsborough Panel and today it was revealed that he will be supported by Dr Bill Kirkup, Dr Colin Currie, David Hencke and Duncan Jarrett OBE.
The remit of the Gosport Independent Panel will be to consult with the families of the deceased and analyse documentation from relevant organisations and individuals and then to produce a report of the findings.
Speaking after the announcement, Caroline said:
"For all those involved, from bereaved families to hospital staff, this has been a very long and difficult journey. Today's announcement marks the first step in finally bringing closure to this case.
I welcome the Government's commitment to finding out what really happened at Gosport War Memorial Hospital and am pleased that the expertise of Bishop James Jones and his colleagues will be drawn on throughout this process. I would urge anyone with information to make contact with the Independent Panel."
The review be the Independent Panel is expected to complete by the end of 2017 when the Secretary of State for Health will make arrangements for the publication of the final report to Parliament.