Northern Ireland health trust investigates 11 patient deaths

A health trust in Northern Ireland is investigating the deaths of 11 patients, including five babies. The Health minister said it comes after the Trust identified 20 separate incidents where the response had been "below standard".

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  1. Marc Mallet - ITV News Northern Ireland reporter

NI patient died after 'late diagnosis'

The Northern Trust has identified 20 cases of sub-standard care, 11 of which led to deaths, at hospitals in Northern Ireland over a five-year period ending last year.

Five of those were babies, who were either stillborn or died after birth.

One example we have been given of that sub-standard care is a late diagnosis of a patient in a casualty department, and it has been linked to their death.

Thousands of X-rays are being examined at the Causeway Hospital in County Londonderry Credit: Paul Faith/PA Archive

Another example is where there has been a failure to follow up on issues raised in chest X-rays. In other words, where a radiographer has requested further scans to take place but that simply hasn't happened.

The Trust has so far looked at 19,000 X-Rays and they have to look at another 28,000. That gives you some idea of the size of the investigation.

Health trust: 20 incidents of 'below standard' response

The Northern Health Trust identified 20 separate incidents where the response had been "below standard" and decided to investigate the deaths of 11 patients, Stormont's health minister has told the Assembly.

Edwin Poots said the incidents were "across a number of areas," including obstetrics and gynaecology, X-ray follow up; and the Northern Ireland health trust’s emergency departments.

"It is not clear that these were avoidable deaths, but it is clear that the Trusts' response should have been better," Mr Poots said.

Five of the 11 patient deaths were babies, he added.


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