Sinn Féin MLA Maeve McLaughlin has said there needs to be tighter procedures in reporting hospital deaths to the coroner after it was revealed that 56 cases were reported late.
Ms McLaughlin said:
“All deaths have a traumatic effect on families and it is essential that families are given the utmost respect at a time when they have lost someone close.
“It is therefore unacceptable that many families are being traumatised again when they find out that the death of a loved one has been reported to coroner for investigation.
“In one case the death of a patient was referred to the coroner after 85 days. This is totally unacceptable.
“It is important that families are not forced to seek answers weeks or months after the death of a loved one.
“There now needs to be a system put into place where all deaths are immediately reported and the families are informed at the same time.”