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Final inquiry report suggests 250 patients were unlawfully killed by Harold Shipman

Harold Shipman killed about 250 patients between 1971 and 1998, Dame Janet Smith, chairman of the Shipman Inquiry, concludes in her sixth and final report.

In the report, Dame Janet specifically considers how many patients Shipman killed during his career as a junior doctor at Pontefract General Infirmary between 1970 and 1974 and she estimates that he probably caused the deaths of between 10 and 15 patients. This brings the total number of patients killed by Shipman to about 250, 218 of whom have been positively identified by the inquiry.

Evidence about the way in which drugs were stored and handled at Pontefract General Hospital was given by John Barker, the hospital’s chief pharmacist at the time.

Dame Janet reports that the use of Controlled Drugs was strictly regulated and concludes that Shipman could have used other, more readily available, drugs to kill his victims during this period.

The sixth report was published last week.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 10018380

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