Trust investigates deaths of 11 patients

Trust investigates deaths of 11 patients

The Northern Health Trust is investigating the deaths of 11 patients, including five babies.

Health Minister Edwin Poots said it comes after the Trust identified 20 separate incidents over a five-year period, from 2008 to 2013, where the response had been "below standard".The incidents were across a number of areas including obstetrics and gynaecology, imaging and the Trust's EDs and 11 of them involved deaths, five of which were perinatal.A statement from Mr Poots said: "It is not clear that these were avoidable deaths but it is clear that the Trusts' response should have been better."He added that across all of the incidents there was evidence to show that there were delays in eight of the cases being reported as serious adverse incidents.The DUP minister went on: "The majority of those were identified as a result of the Trust reviewing complaints and clinical negligence claims against the Trust."He said that the investigations in some of these cases are still on-going.A statement from the Trust said: "The Trust recognises that, on these occasions, we have fallen short of the standards the public should expect from us."More critically we failed to learn from these incidents. To those people affected we apologise."While we cannot change that fact, what we can do is learn from our mistakes and how to prevent them in the future. The Trust is committed to a culture of openness and transparency pervades every service we provide."Mr Poots also explained that a review of 35,000 x-rays taken between 2011 and 2012 has been taking place at the Causeway Hospital."Of these, nine cases were identified which require further investigation," he said.The review has been extended to cover the remaining Trust sites with more than 19,000 having already been looked at - with concerns identified in two cases - and 28,000 still to be reviewed.Patients can call 028 9442 4804 if they have any concerns about radiology.The Trust said the review involves checking whether the x-ray report contained a recommendation for further follow up and whether this was appropriately dealt with by the referring clinician.It continued: "The Trust wants to make it clear there is no concern regarding the accuracy of the x-ray reporting. All x-rays have been fully and correctly reported. The Trust has put in place procedures to ensure that report recommendations are actioned and will audit their implementation."


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