“This is an utterly extraordinary decision and represents an abject failure of the system to protect patients," said the Liberal Democrat Shadow Health Secretary.
Commenting on the decision by the GMC Fitness to Practice Panel not to strike Dr Jane Barton off the medical register, Norman Lamb said:
“This is an utterly extraordinary decision and represents an abject failure of the system to protect patients and to give justice to the families who have campaigned for 11 years.
“Given that the GMC itself was pressing for Dr Barton to be struck from the register it raises serious questions about how the rules operate and the decision of this panel.
“Surely it cannot be right given the deaths of many elderly people at Gosport War Memorial Hospital and the findings of failures on the part of Dr Barton that she should be permitted to continue to practice.
“This decision makes it clear that the only way forward is to hold a full public inquiry. At the very least, we owe it to the families of those who died in unexplained circumstances at Gosport Hospital.”