Pseudomonas response criticised by Stormont health committee chairman
Category: Northern Ireland
Published: 1st May 2012 15:43:46
The Department of Health's response to the pseudomonas outbreak has been criticised by the vice-chairman of Stormont's health committee.
Jim Wells said it was unfortunate a memo sent by the chief medical officer three days before Christmas failed to mention that a child had died.
The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) is investigating the four deaths in December and January.
Assembly members have been discussing the outbreak on Tuesday.
Three babies died in the Royal Jubilee Maternity Unit in January, while another newborn died at Londonderry's Altnagelvin Hospital in December.
Mr Wells said: "Though it has been refuted by the department, I have to say that it's inevitable that memo may in some instances have sat in an in-tray for action after Christmas."
The interim report is a damning indictment of neglect, incompetence and plain tardiness to react to a very serious set of circumstances”
The DUP assembly member added that he wanted to commend Health Minister Edwin Poots for his handling of the outbreak.
During the debate, Mr Poots revealed that dealing with the pseudomonas crisis has been the worst experience in his political life.
The health minister said it was the hardest task having to tell families that their baby's death could have been avoidable.
He told the assembly he hoped he never had to do it again.
Kieran McCarthy of the Alliance Party said the wording of the Sinn Fein motion was "much too weak".
He said rather than the outbreak being "noted with concern", the wording should have been replaced by "shock" and "horror".
"The interim report is a damning indictment of neglect, incompetence and plain tardiness to react to a very serious set of circumstances," he said.
Mr McCarthy said he hoped that Mr Poots would "accept the failures" which led to the "shocking deaths of four innocent babies".
According to interim findings published last month, the Belfast Health Trust should have declared the outbreak sooner.
The review team criticised a lack of communication between health officials and found there was no common approach across neonatal units for declaring an outbreak.
The first stage of the review addressed the causes and impact of the outbreak, and the full report is due by the end of May.
At 12:06:14 in EnglandPolice hunting for a man wanted over the fatal stabbing of a guest house landlady have doubled their reward for information leading to his arrest.
At 12:02:58 in PoliticsThere was "no question" the Red Arrows would change the colour of smoke trails to represent the Scottish flag at the Glasgow 2014 opening ceremony, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon says.
At 11:56:17 in ScotlandA man who stabbed his partner to death then stayed with her body for five days has been jailed for life.
At 11:53:57 in EnglandA coach company in Wiltshire has gone into administration with the loss of 89 jobs and a knock-on effect on hundreds of customer bookings.
At 11:45:55 in EnglandMembers of a family from Wiltshire have resorted to living in tents in their back garden because of a mystery smell in their home.
At 11:45:35 in SportChampionship club Millwall have signed former Everton striker Magaye Gueye on a free transfer.
At 11:43:03 in SportIndia all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja has been fined 50% of his match fee following an altercation with England's James Anderson during the first Test.
At 11:38:32 in ScotlandA councillor in the Borders has broken the code of conduct, the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland has ruled.
At 11:34:09 in WalesA new police office, shops and business centre is opening at Trevethin in Torfaen following a £1.6m investment in a social enterprise development.
At 11:32:55 in SportTottenham have appointed former Middlesbrough and Aston Villa defender Ugo Ehiogu as coach of their under-21s.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Pseudomonas response criticised by Stormont health committee chairman [Online] (Updated 1st May 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1425740/Pseudomonas-response-criticised-by-Stormont-health-committee-chairman [Accessed 25th Jul 2014]
News In Other Categories
Championship club Millwall have signed former Everton striker Magaye Gueye on a free transfer.
A man who stabbed his partner to death then stayed with her body for five days has been jailed for life.
Former N-Dubz singer Tulisa has been found guilty of assaulting a man at a music festival.
Police hunting for a man wanted over the fatal stabbing of a guest house landlady have doubled their reward for information leading to his arrest.
The airline Jet2 has said it is creating 86 new jobs at Belfast International Airport with flights to new destinations.
With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com