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McLaughlin calls for stringent hygiene regime following deaths at Antrim County Hospital

23 January, 2008

Mitchel McLaughlin MLA (South Antrim) has called on Health Minister, Michael McGimpsey to initiate a public inquiry into the cause of 16 deaths in three Northern Trust Hospitals, 10 of them in the Antrim Area Hospital.

Mitchel McLaughlin said:

"I would first of all wish to express my sincere sympathies to the families and loved ones of those patients who have died as a result of this illness and wish those who are presently in hospital with it a speedy and full recovery.

"It is incumbent on Minister McGimpsey to do all in his power to inform the families of these patients as to how their loved ones contracted this bug and also to inform them what was the cause of such a large number of deaths in one Hospital in particular.

"The Minister must draw up a strict hygiene and screening regime and ensure that every hospital in the North adheres to it. It is unacceptable that so many people entering hospital in order to have illnesses and other ailments treated that instead of looking forward to successful treatment of their existing health problems run the risk of contracting life threatening 'bugs' through poor hospital hygiene.

"Poor hygiene can not be attributed to lack of finance as instilling the need for strict adherence to a hygiene regime consists mainly of education and attitude. I will be seeking answers from the Minister regarding the steps that he is taking to ensure that there is no spread of this problem." ENDS

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