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Sinn Féin successful in securing Northern Trust Hospitals public enquiry

14 October, 2008

Mitchel McLaughlin MLA (South Antrim) has welcomed the announcement by 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:

"Sinn Féin welcome the fact that the Minister for Health, Michael McGimpsey has announced that there will be review into the deaths of patients in the Northern Trust Hospitals.

"Following 16 deaths, 10 of them in the Antrim Area Hospital, Sinn Féin called for a public enquiry. Today the Minister has answered that call.

"Any such enquiry must however be able to inform the families of the patients who have died as a result of this infection 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.

"There also must be firm outcomes from this enquiry such as measures to ensure that strict hygiene and screening regimes are established. 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

"On a recent visit to Altnagelvin Hospital a new system for detecting super bugs was shown to MLA's. This system can detect the likes of MRSA within a matter of hours, not 3 days as is currently the case. It is measures such as a rolling out of this ground breaking technology alongside a strict adherence to proper and full hygiene standards that will effectively save lives." CRÍOCH

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