Poots asked to consider his position

Published Monday, 31 March 2014
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The chair of the health committee at Stormont has called for Health Minister Edwin Poots to consider his position.

Poots asked to consider his position
Health Minister Edwin Poots dismissed the comment. (© Pacemaker)

Maeve McLaughlin made the comments as the Assembly discussed the revelation that the Northern Trust is investigating the deaths of 11 patients, including five babies, over a five-year period in circumstances where the response by the Trust was "below standard".

DUP minister Mr Poots dismissed the call from the Sinn Féin MLA and said the deaths happened before his tenure and added that his actions meant light has been shone on the current situation.

He said: "Had I done nothing within the Northern Trust then the member may have some case to make but in 2011 I put in a turnaround team in the Trust, that was the year I took office."

It emerged last Friday that the Trust has identified a total of 20 separate incidents between 2008 and 2013 - across a number of areas including obstetrics and gynaecology, imaging and the Trust's EDs - where the Trust had fallen short. Eleven cases involved deaths, five of these were perinatal.

The Trust has apologised and promised to learn from its mistakes.

Ms McLaughlin said at Monday's emergency debate: "Will the minister now, or should the minister, be considering his position or at the very least looking to scrap Transforming Your Care?"

Mr Poots replied: "Mr Speaker I am sorry that the chairman has let herself down so badly.

"We are dealing with deaths that stretch back to 2008. I don't want to be political about this but I was not minister until 2011, so I would hardly be resigning over deaths that took place prior to that."

© UTV News
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12 Comments
Larry in Belfast wrote (172 days ago):
Consider his position!! - He needs to consider his health, because if he takes ill he may have to go into hospital and sit in queues in A&E, picking up bugs along the way. Perhaps some practical experience on a hospital trolley for 12 or so hours will help him make changes in the Service he has authority over. I know he has inherited these problems, but now that he has them surely he can endeavour to sort them out. It is these things the electorate are interested in, not whether you are a Unionist or a republican.
Peter in Ballinderry wrote (172 days ago):
Poots is a fool and his homophobic and sectarian bigotry, along with his clouded fundamental beliefs are not suited to the post he holds. Resign now and allow an open-minded and intelligent person to take ownership of the health service.
Steffan in Belfast wrote (172 days ago):
Why did the Sein Finn MLA bring up deaths that occurred before Mr Poots took office, thats just stupid! Surely he has been incompetent enough during his tenure to warrant his dismissal without trying to pin deaths on him when obviosuly they were not.
Woodvale ron in Belfast wrote (173 days ago):
Especially when my mother in law who is very ill had to wait on a trolley from two until eight tonight for a bed in the royal which is bedlam again !
have a nice day. in Derry wrote (173 days ago):
With poots all falls on deaf ears..... not fit for duty.
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BRIAN ROWAN
The voice above the crowd didn't come from within that increasingly tense and angry political arena.
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