Gosport War Memorial Hospital
I work with elderly clients and their families, they are amazing people who have lived full and interesting lives and I struggle to understand how anyone could treat these amazing people unethically. They are fabulous human beings!
After Harold Shipman was convicted in 2000, it is shocking that the Police did not reconsider the various complaints that had been made in earlier years. It was after Dr Shipman was convicted that a mass complaint by 90 families was made in 2000 and although investigated, no charges were brought. This is one of those situations where the well-used phrase “never again” can be appropriately understood!
Opioids are used at major traumas to immediately relieve pain, such as car accidents and at painful end of life. In the case of major trauma, the purpose is to relieve pain, whilst the process of recovery from the injury can be assessed and undertaken, such as surgery, after which a detailed pain assessment should be undertaken to ensure that appropriate pain relief is provided, with consideration given to the side effects of the proposed medication/s. It is not intended for long term use, except in carefully controlled circumstances, due to the side effects.
As far as end of life situations, the clinical purpose is to ensure that the person dies pain free and it is known to have an effect on breathing and that this side effect is likely to shorten life, however not prescribing it will ensure that a dying person experiences excruciating pain. Opioids is considered the least worse option, for obvious reasons since death is both close and inevitable! I have first hand seen the effects of opioid end of life care and although the difficulty in breathing is challenging to both experience and watch, it is still clinically considered a better option.
When pain relief is constantly given, then often a tolerance is experienced, so the pain can seem to be worse. There are pain clinics to help manage this in the NHS and many alternative therapies that can assist with pain, such as Bowen Therapy (a mind and body therapy), which I can first hand vouch for and can seem like magic in its effectiveness! Other non-pharmaceutical therapies are available.
I want to express my concern over the Police response in 2000 and pass my best wishes to the families of the victims for the follow-on outcome from this report that will give them peace, whatever that may be.
And add my voice to the sentiment. #NeverAgain