Healthcare professional bodies publish full response to Hyponatremia Inquiry report

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31 May 2018

Professional bodies representing surgeons, nurses, paediatricians, anaesthetists and pathologists throughout Northern Ireland have today published a joint response to Justice O’Hara report on Hyponatremia related deaths in Northern Ireland.

The response, collated by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and endorsed by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, supports the majority of Justice O’Hara’s 96 recommendations in order to improve patient safety now and in the future.

The joint response calls for more honesty and transparency within the health system, the creation of a new Board to hold Trusts and civil servants to account for systemic failings and more involvement of young people and their parents / carers in shaping models of care.

It also asks that healthcare professionals to be given sufficient time for time for training and learning and the College fully supports the need to deliver children’s surgery locally wherever possible.

However, RCSEd takes issue with the recommendation that Foundation Year trainee doctors be prohibited from working on children’s wards. Whilst improvements can always be made in the way that trainees are supervised, structured and direct engagement with children is a vital part way of training.

President of The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh Professor Michael Lavelle-Jones said: “Our thoughts are with the bereaved families who have waited many years for Judge O’Hara’s report. It is essential that we do all we can to ensure another tragedy like this does not take place again. There has been much progress over the last 20 years but we must strive to ensure that healthcare delivery is always as safe as possible.”


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