Belfast hospital delays contributed to 5 deaths

By Gillian Crotty

The medical director of the Belfast Health Trust has confirmed that the death of five patients at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast were in part caused by a delay in treatment.

Dr Tony Stevens made the comments on BBC Radio Ulster's Nolan Show, and he added that a shortage of doctors was also a factor in the deaths. He did clarify that the cases involved very sick patients who may have "died anyway" but that the delay in treatment was a "contributory factor".

The shortage of medical staff has been raised before in respect of the Belfast hospital, and Dr Stevens admitted they were "struggling to both train and recruit" new doctors of a "high calibre". In the meantime patients and staff at the hospital have complained about the lack of safe and dignified care.

The current condition of the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast is putting patients at an unusual level of risk, and leaving the trust open to claims for medical negligence compensation. A number of incidents in the past have involved clinical negligence with a mixture of minor to fatal consequences. In June 2013 105 patients were recalled over concerns that they had been misdiagnosed, and on 6th March 2012 an elderly patient died while on a trolley in the Accident & Emergency department. He had been waiting for a transfer to the City Hospital but when the ambulance crew arrived it was apparent that he had been dead for some time.

If you have suffered injury or loss as a result of negligent medical care received in Northern Ireland contact one of the claims solicitors at Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast by calling 0800 840 9289.

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