FAMILIES who have raised serious concerns over the treatment of their elderly relatives at Gosport War Memorial hospital are to meet this weekend to decide what action to take against the health authorities.

The same legal team that represented relatives in the Harold Shipman inquiry will host the gathering, which will be a chance for loved ones to discuss the options of the action group that was formed last month.

Since the group was established more families have come forward. There are now 19 families who are unhappy at the treatment received by their loved ones.

Solicitors Alexander Harris say the meeting will be a forum for relatives to air their views and decide on a way forward.

Spokeswoman Emma Smith said: "We want to let people know that this meeting is happening and that if anyone has not yet been in touch with us they are welcome to attend.

"It will be an opportunity to ask questions about the case and decide what to do next."

The meeting will be followed by a press conference next Monday when an announcement is expected on what the action plan will be.

The Gosport War Memorial Action Group was formed last month in response to a government announcement that a top-level inquiry would be launched to scrutinise the hospital's records.

The announcement came after a health watchdog report revealed serious problems in the late 1990s concerning the administration of high-dose painkilling drugs to elderly patients.

A hotline was also set up by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Health Authority after internal documents raising concerns about the administration of drugs to elderly patients came to light. Around ten calls were received from worried families.

The public meeting will be held on Sunday at the Solent Hotel in Whiteley starting at 7pm.