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ANNOUNCEMENT OF C. DIFFICILE PUBLIC INQUIRY PANEL WELCOME - MITCHEL MCLAUGHLIN MLA

31 March, 2009


Sinn Féin representative Mitchel McLaughlin MLA (South Antrim) has welcomed Health Minister, Michael McGimpsey's announcement of the panel of inquiry into the outbreak of C difficile in the Northern Health and Social Care Trust hospitals between 16 June 2007 and 31 August 2008.

Mitchel McLaughlin said: “Having initially resisted the call for a public inquiry I welcome the Health Minister's change of heart and his setting up of a panel of inquiry into the outbreak of C difficile in the Northern Health and Social Care Trust area. This hospital acquired infection resulted in dozens of deaths and devastating trauma for families who lost loved ones and for those who survived this outbreak.   "While the families will have to wait 12 months to find out the results of the inquiry at least it will provide some comfort that they now have the prospect of finding out just how exactly their loved ones contracted this infection. The terms of reference as the Minister has acknowledged must be wide-ranging and have unfettered access to all individuals and records as required.

“The families who suffered as a result of the outbreak - those who lost loved ones and those who survived - must at the end of the inquiry be satisfied that no stone was left unturned in investigarting the source or causes of the infection. The inquiry must also restore public confidence in the health service in general." ENDS

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