Northern Ireland

Hyponatraemia inquiry: Implementing some recommendations 'complex'

Adam Strain, Raychel Ferguson, Claire Roberts and Conor Mitchell
Image caption The children who died were Adam Strain, Raychel Ferguson, Claire Roberts and Conor Mitchell. Lucy Crawford's family chose not to release a photograph

The Western Trust's Medical Director has warned that it will be "complex" to implement the 96 recommendations from the hyponatraemia inquiry.

Dr Dermot Hughes was speaking at a meeting of the Western Health and Social Care Trust Board on Thursday.

The inquiry, into the deaths of five children in NI hospitals, found that four of them were avoidable.

Dr Hughes said implementing some of the recommendations requires complex changes to services within the trust.

He added that some issues, such as a statutory Duty of Candour, which was one of the key recommendations from the inquiry, are taking longer to work out.

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

Raychel Ferguson's mother, Marie Ferguson, said she could not understand why there would be any difficulty.

"I don't see what the problem would be because, at the end of the day, if every doctor and nurse told the truth, that's all anybody wants," she said.

"I cant see what the problem would be with the statutory duty of candour. If there was a government I would be fighting very strongly to have the statutory duty of candour brought in."

Hyponatraemia is a medical condition that occurs when there is a shortage of sodium in the bloodstream.

The damning report was heavily critical of the "self-regulating and unmonitored" health service.

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

The Western Trust has been contacted for a response.

The Department of Health has declined to comment.

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