CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL INQUIRY – 4 out of 5 ruled ‘avoidable’

An inquiry has begun in to the deaths of five children in Northern Ireland’s hospitals have found that four of them were avoidable.

The finding follow from a 14-year inquiry into hyponatraemia-related deaths.

Hyponatraemia is a medical condition that occurs where there is a shortage of sodium in the bloodstream.

The damning report was extremely critical of the self-regulated and unmonitored health service.

Mr Justice O’Hara was scathing of how the families were treated in the aftermath of their children’s deaths as well as the evidence given in the inquiry by medical professionals.

O’Hara said: “doctors and managers cannot be relied on to do the right thing at the right time” and that it was vital that they started to put the public interest before their own reputation.

The inquiry was set up in 2004 to investigate the deaths of Adam Strain, Claire Roberts, Raychel Ferguson, Lucy Crawford and Conor Mitchell.

It was announced that four out of the five deaths were ruled avoidable. Three being due to “negligent care”.

The inquiry has been estimated to cost £13.5m, but that figure is expected to rise.

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