Belfast Telegraph

'Bag death' care review considered

A review of the care given to a woman believed to have suffocated on a plastic bag may have to be ordered, a coroner's court has heard.

Eileen Keogh, 61, died at Downe Hospital in Northern Ireland almost three years ago.

At a preliminary hearing in Belfast, a barrister for her family said they were considering calling in a consultant psychiatrist to assess the level of care she received.

Fiona Doherty said: "We have not come to a firm conclusion yet whether to apply to instruct a consultant psychiatrist to review the standard of treatment."

Ms Doherty said the family were aware the move could cause further delay to the inquest process but that a final decision could only be made when all the relevant case material had been digested.

Ms Keogh, from Ballybeg Park in Newcastle, Co Down, died on February 11 2012.

Proceedings were halted in March 2013 because of an issue with the disclosure of documents from the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust which runs Downe Hospital in Downpatrick.

It is understood the report summarising the care has since been handed over.

However, the court was told the identities of some individuals, who are expected to be called to give evidence at the forthcoming inquest, have been blanked out.

Coroner Suzanne Anderson said: "It is fairly obvious who the various persons are."

A solicitor for the health trust said there were some "concerns" about unredacted reports being put into the public domain but agreed that a cipher list could be provided to the legal team for the next of kin.

The Keogh family lawyers were also told to expect disclosure of hospital notes within days while GP notes would be disseminated within a fortnight.

Ms Doherty requested any other material relating to the case.

She said: "For the sake of completeness. It is not clear to us whether all material considered by the review team has been disclosed to you (the coroner). On occasions there are reports or any material that underlies the report.

"We want any material that has not already been disclosed."

The family are content with the proposed witness list, the court was told.

A full inquest is expected to take place in March.

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