Trust investigates deaths of 11 patients

Published Friday, 28 March 2014
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The Northern Health Trust is investigating the deaths of 11 patients, including five babies.

Trust investigates deaths of 11 patients
Mr Poots briefed the Assembly about the cases on Friday. (© Getty)

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."

© UTV News
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6 Comments
Val in Newtownabbey wrote (265 days ago):
Damnable. Shameful. Just some of the words to describe the health service.
jay shaw in Belfast wrote (266 days ago):
@ (Edwin Poots) I was taken to hospital today 28th and got bloods taken waited over 2 1/2 hours to be seen by the doc only to find out they misplaced my notes then after that the doc came and told me they lost the blood that was taken so sent me home !! hope nothing happens to me or its on his hands ..
Margaret murphy in Belfast wrote (267 days ago):
I was in antrim hospital last year and the whole experience was traumatic. I felt I was lucky to be alive by the end of my stay. I was very ill with a major infection but was mistakenly given a lower dose of antibiotics than I should have been given. When this issue was identified I then had the problem of being given doses of antibiotics intravenously over sometimes as little as 3 minutes rather than the longer period of approx 10 minutes which is the safe way to administer the drugs. I was left with drips up even though they were finished and a friend who is a nurse pointed out how dangerous this was. I was there for 6 days and. Never got to see the type of surgeon I needed to see though I did see a general surgeon who said he wanted me to see a breast surgeon. I had to come back to outpatients to eventually see the appropriate surgeon. I was there for 6 days and was never given any assistance to wash nor was my bed changed. Several other patients were also nearly given overdoses of medication but had to absolutely refuse to take them as they knew they had already had them. Several nurses told us the situation was dangerous and to be fair to them they continued to be professional and kind but were just under too much pressure . I have a real fear of ever having to go into hospital again however I might be lucky to actually get in!!! My doctor recently urgently referred me to antrim hospital . I was told it would be 13 weeks even though I had had cancer before then when I phone because I had got no word I was told it could be at least a further 4 weeks!!! Eventually had to go private as the stress of waiting was too much. Mr Poots needs to be kept in an A&E unit for a week to see the reality of our health service.
Ruff in Antrim wrote (267 days ago):
Poots has lost the plot and is clearly out of his depth. Got to go....
Patient in Newtownabbey wrote (267 days ago):
Mr Poots Transforming Your Care???? What? Where? How? WHEN????????
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