Staff at a hospital being investigated over the deaths of hundreds of patients are to be interviewed under caution by police.

An independent police investigation into Gosport War Memorial Hospital in Hampshire is ongoing after hundreds of patients were found to have had their lives shortened through the use of opioids.

More than 450 elderly people died there between 1987 and 2001 after being given powerful painkillers, a 2018 report revealed, leading to the launch of Operation Magenta.

The Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate said officers are reviewing more than three millions pages of documents, including 700 patient medical records, and taking witness statements from more than 1,000 family members.

A spokesman said a meeting was held on Wednesday to inform family members that a number of people are to be formally questioned over their alleged involvement in deaths at the hospital between 1987 and 2001.
Relatives of some of those who died at the Hampshire hospital have long campaigned for prosecutions to be brought over the deaths, and have called for a Hillsborough-model inquest.

Deputy assistant commissioner Neil Jerome said: “This marks a significant step in the investigation into deaths at Gosport War Memorial Hospital and is the result of many months of thorough and meticulous work by our team of investigators.
“The families of those who died are at the heart of everything we do; it has been important to see families today and speak to them about this latest development.”

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