Image source, Family photos Image caption, Investigations are underway into the deaths of Cliff Houghton, Dulcie Middleton, Eva Page and Horace Smith (not shown)
Four new inquiries have been opened into the deaths of patients in a hospital which is the subject of an inquiry into the care of hundreds of patients.
The coroner of the Hampshire investigates death of Dulcie Middleton, 86, Horace Smith, 73, Eva Page, 88, and Clifford Houghton, 71, at Gosport War Memorial Hospital.
A previous investigation revealed the deaths of 456 patients after receiving opiates in hospital between 1987 and 2001.
No charges have ever been brought.
The new inquests have been granted at the request of the families of the patients, Senior Coroner Chris Wilkinson told the 'hearing in Portsmouth.
He said the four deaths, originally determined to be from natural causes, were among those examined by a fourth police investigation on the hospital.
The coroner adjourned the hearings pending the outcome of the police investigation, Operation Magenta.
Previously, a report released by the Group of Gosport's Independent Review (GIRP) revealed that there was a "disrespect for human life " of a large number of patients in the hospital from 1989 to 2000.
There was an "institutionalized " regimen of preion and administration of "dangerous " amounts of a drug not clinically justified, according to the report.
That said Dr Jane Barton supervised the practice ofthe preion in the services.
Media caption, Timeline: Concerns were first raised about the treatment of patients in 1998
The new surveys examine:
- Clifford Houghton, 71, died after being admitted to hospital in February 1994 for a respite period.The GIRP report concluded that he had been given opioids without an appropriate clinical indication.
- Dulcie Middleton, 86, died in September 2001, three months after being admitted to rehabilitation following a stroke. Her family have said her treatment was "negligent and inhumane".
- Eva Page, 88, died in March 1998 GIRP report concluded her death was a case of opioid usewithout appropriate clinical indication.
- Horace Smith, 73, died in April 1999 after his condition improved, although he was subsequently prescribed diamorphine.
Lawyers representing some families have called for broader investigations before a judge and jury, similar to those who looked into the events of the Hillsborough disaster.
They also wrote to the Attorney General requesting further investigations into Arthur Cunningham, Gladys Richards and Robert Wilson, saying the initial hearings were "flawed and ineffective ".
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