Page last updated at 17:08 GMT, Tuesday, 30 March 2010 18:08 UK

Doctor found guilty of misconduct resigns

Dr Jane Barton
Dr Jane Barton said she had to work under "unreasonable pressure"

A doctor found guilty of serious professional misconduct earlier this year has resigned.

Dr Jane Barton prescribed "potentially hazardous" levels of drugs to patients who later died at Hampshire's Gosport War Memorial Hospital in the 1990s.

But the General Medical Council panel, which found her guilty of misconduct, allowed her to continue working subject to conditions.

Hampshire NHS Foundation Trust confirmed Dr Barton had resigned.

A jury inquest held last year into the deaths of 10 patients found drugs to be a factor in five cases.

'Not a punishment'

Dr Barton was then found guilty by a GMC fitness to practice panel of a series of failings in her care of 12 patients who were treated at the hospital between 1996 and 1999.

Both the families of relatives who died and the GMC criticised the panel's decision not to strike Dr Barton off the medical register in January.

Dr Barton had told the panel she had to work under "unreasonable pressure" with an "excessive and increasing burden" in caring for patients.

She was allowed to continue to practise as a GP in Gosport but had 11 conditions placed upon her work, including a ban on injecting opiates for three years.

Ian Wilson, 51, the son of 74-year-old Robert Wilson, who was given painkillers that were inappropriate for his condition, said: "It is just unfortunate that she retires on a full pension and her retirement is not a punishment. She should have been struck off."

Forton Medical Centre said she stopped working two weeks ago having taken her annual leave entitlement.

The Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence, which monitors the work of health regulatory bodies, said it would release its decision on the GMC panel's decision on Wednesday.

Dr Barton was unavailable for comment.

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