East Derry MLA says Hyponatremia inquiry reveals “journey of deceit”

The launch of the report into the hyponatraemia inquiry by chairman Sir John O'Hara in Belfast in January
The launch of the report into the hyponatraemia inquiry by chairman Sir John O'Hara in Belfast in January

East Derry Independent MLA Claire Sugden has hit out at the treatment of families who lost children in hyponatraemia-related deaths here.

Ms. Sugden made her comments in the wake of the findings of an inquiry into the deaths of five children in hospitals in Northern Ireland in which it was determined that their deaths were avoidable.

The Belfast, Southern and Western health trusts said have unreservedly apologised to the five families.

The East Derry MLA said: “I want to offer my condolences and full support to those families who have suffered due to the avoidable loss of their children and the appalling treatment they endured from healthcare professionals who chose to put their own interests before the interests of the public they served.

“These families have been on a harrowing, 14 year journey of heartbreak and deceit which began with the deaths of those most precious to them. I cannot imagine their pain. I hope the findings and recommendations of the today’s inquiry report will provide them with some comfort and hopefully justice for the unnecessary loss of their babies.

“I welcome the apology from the Belfast, Southern and Western Trusts, but it almost feels worthless given the shameful findings of the report,” she added.

The inquiry was set up in 2004 to investigate the deaths of Adam Strain, Claire Roberts, Raychel Ferguson, Lucy Crawford and Conor Mitchell.