Trust director speaks about baby deaths

Trust director speaks about baby deaths

A senior director of the Northern Trust has said he wishes to meet the families of babies Erin McAuley and Cara Rocks, who died while in the Trust's care, to apologise in person.

Last week it was revealed that the Northern Trust is investigating the deaths of 11 patients, including five babies.They are among 20 cases where the response was deemed "below standard" between 2008 and 2013.This week UTV told the story of two of those families affected, they lost their babies at the Causeway Hospital due to mistakes and missed opportunities in their care.Paul Cummings, was appointed on secondment last year as Senior Director of Turnaround to help deliver the changes required at the Trust.He said there were many lessons to be learned from such cases."Each of the individual cases has an individual reason, and there's not a general theme across the whole 20 because they're in different areas, they're in different specialties and indeed they're in different hospitals," he said on Thursday."So there's not one individual lesson to be learned, I think the lesson for the organisation is that we need to be an open and transparent organisation that puts the patient and their family first."He continued: "People must be wondering at home, is our hospital safe? And I have to honestly look them in the eye and say yes, it is safe for you to come to this hospital."In these individual cases, yes, we committed a mistake, an error was made and we got it wrong."Mr Cummings said it was "not good enough" that families felt they had to go to the media for answers and he has requested to meet families to say sorry for what they experienced."I need to look them in the eye and say - I am sorry on behalf of this organisation, we should not have treated you like this, we should have been open and honest," he said."You have suffered enough and this organisation should not add to your suffering by how we treat you and the lack of information only added to your suffering."However, Mr Cummings admitted though that mistakes in the health service are inevitable."Mistakes will happen, we are dealing with 11,500 staff, who try to get it right on every single occasion, but on occasion, we will get it wrong. We are all human, we will make mistakes," he said."We have to learn how we can prevent those mistakes happening in the future."

© UTV

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