Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Western Trust needs to come clean - Anderson

7 February, 2011 - by Maeve McLaughlin

Speaking following a meeting of North West MLA’s with the Health Board and the Western Health Trust on Friday  Sinn Féin Human Rights Spokesperson, Martina Anderson MLA (Foyle) has expressed frustration at the lack of accountability on behalf of the Trust.

Martina Anderson said:

“I was seriously frustrated at the less than forthcoming attitude of the senior management of both the Health Board and Western Trust when I questioned them on the latest administrative failure at Altnagelvin Hospital.

“Despite the fact that the Trust’s Chief Executive appeared before the Assembly Health Committee on Thursday and assured the Members that all of the patients at serious risk due to the failure to properly process 18,500 X-rays were notified of the problem between August and October 2010 that this was clearly not the case.

“I am in possession of information which shows that two families of patients affected were in fact not notified of the delay in the diagnosis of their loved ones until last Thursday – a matter of hours before the Chief Executive told the Health Committee that all four families were notified between August and October 2010.

“Responding to my questioning in the Assembly today the Minister for Health said that he would be shocked if it were the case that two patients were only notified last week that there was a delay in their diagnoses.

“This sequence of events would tend to signify that proper administration procedure were not in place and that the Trust CEO must accept responsibility for this state of affairs. The fact that two families were not notified in the timeframe suggested by the CEO’s of both the Trust and the Board would suggest that either they misled the North West MLA’s on Friday or they were unaware of the true facts. Either way it is unacceptable.

“The representatives of the Health Board and the Western Trust, including their two CEO’s who attended the meeting on Friday could not inform us how many individuals were affected by the delay in processing the18,500 X-rays.

“This deficit of accountability is not acceptable and I believe that the Health Board and Western Trust CEOs along with the Minister have serious questions to answer in regards to the administration practices at Altnagelvin Hospital.

“The Minister today announced an "urgent independent inquiry" into matters relating to regional oral medicine service and I am calling on him to extend this to cover the debacle of the back log of 18,500 X-rays at Altnagelvin.”

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