Northern Ireland

Alfred Hannaway: Grieving family passed 'from pillar to post'

Laganside
Image caption Mrs Hannaway said her family were passed from "pillar to post" and treated as if they were a nuisance

The wife of a man who died following a quadruple heart bypass has said it was "ridiculous" how the family were treated after his death.

Alfred Hannaway, 61, from west Belfast, died at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast in September 2013.

His wife, Dympna Hannaway, spoke on the opening day of the inquest into his death on Monday.

Mrs Hannaway said her family were passed from "pillar to post" and treated as if they were a nuisance.

Blood-thinning drug

She broke down telling how the 61-year-old father-of-eight was the centre of their home.

His four daughters and three sons sobbed at the back of the courtroom behind a framed photograph of their father.

Mrs Hannaway told the court her taxi-driver husband had a great love for music and was very involved in GAA clubs.

The court heard that Mr Hannaway had been on the blood-thinning drug Warfarin prior to a quadruple heart bypass in 2013.

The dosage was to be reduced when he was discharged from hospital.

But a discharge letter did not make it to the Warfarin Clinic at Belfast City Hospital and his medication was not adjusted.

A barrister acting on behalf of Belfast Trust said it had carried out an investigation after the death and had acknowledged deficiencies in communications.

He said they had apologised after the initial investigation.

'Deep regret'

A staff nurse at the Warfarin clinic told the court she had not been notified that Mr Hannaway had undergone surgery.

When questioned about her assessment of Mr Hannaway's Warfarin dosage, the staff nurse said she did think of contacting her patient but she did not want to disturb him.

She said: "It is with deep regret I didn't phone him that day."

When asked by the Hannaway family solicitor if she had been aware of the surgery what she would have done, she said she would have looked for the discharge letter and the Warfarin prescription change.

She said normal procedure was that the Warfarin clinic would receive a phone call, fax or letter about surgery but that didn't happen in Mr Hannway's case.

The inquest will continue on Tuesday.

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