NMC responds to Gosport Independent Panel Report

NMC statement

Director of Fitness to Practise, Matthew McClelland, said:

"I want to pay tribute to the families who have fought for 20 years to understand what happened to their loved ones at Gosport. It’s clear that we and others badly let them down and I am very sorry for the role we have played in that.

"We will now carry out a careful review of the report to see what action we may need to take and what lessons we can learn.

"What we do know is that our communications with some of the families was unacceptable and for some of those who lost loved ones, we added to their distress.

"While the way we regulate nurses and midwives has changed significantly and improved in recent years, this report is a stark reminder that patients and their families must always be at the heart of what we do."

Answering your questions about the report

What did we know about nurses providing care at Gosport War Memorial Hospital?

From 2001 onwards, the police gave us information about 90 patient deaths that they investigated, and told us about the outcomes of their investigations. They shared with us the evidence they had gathered during their criminal investigations, and we used this to inform our decisions. This evidence included medical records, expert reports and statements from family members and staff at the hospital.

What have you done about the nurses involved?

In 2001, our Preliminary Proceedings Committee considered allegations made against three nurses after the death of a patient, and decided not to proceed with any action against them. In 2010, the committee considered allegations from family members about the deaths of five patients, and decided not to proceed with any action against any nurses as a result. Later in 2010, we decided to close a referral made by a member of the public about the death of his family member. 

Some of these nurses are still on our register – others have retired. We’ve not had any complaints about them since 2010.

What are you going to do with the findings of the report?

Now that the Gosport Independent Panel has published its report, we’re reviewing it very carefully to identify all of the potential issues it raises about the care provided by nurses. We will consider whether there is any regulatory action that we should take as a result of all of the information we have.

I’m concerned about the care my relative had – who can I contact?

If you’re thinking of complaining to us about a registered nurse, please call us on 020 7637 7181 or email newreferrals@nmc-uk.org.

The Department of Health has set up a helpline that you can call if you think a relative was affected. This is where you can get comprehensive support, including counselling if needed. Contact the helpline by phone on 01132 545 290 or email gosportenquiries@dh.gsi.gov.uk.


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