Belfast Telegraph

Husband’s anger after inquest is delayed again

By Emily Moulton

The husband of a woman whose death sparked a review into maternity services within the Northern Health and Social Care Trust has told of his anger after the inquest into his wife’s death has been further delayed.

Terri-Louise Moore (34), from Rowallane Drive, Ballymena, was 33 weeks pregnant when she was admitted to Antrim Area Hospital on November 26, 2007.

An emergency Caesarean was carried out and a healthy baby girl was delivered two days after.

The mother-of-three died from a blood clot to the lung on December 11, a fortnight after giving birth.

Her death was one of four high profile cases examined in an independent probe into maternity services in the Northern Trust.

The report, published in August 2008, highlighted several problems, including managerial, staff training and funding issues.

An inquest into Mrs Moore’s death began on Wednesday but was yesterday adjourned after it emerged statements from two experts — Professor Ian Greer, a consultant obstetrician, and Professor Lindsay Turnbull, a radiological adviser — who are due to give evidence in January, had not been taken.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph last night, Mark Moore said he was dismayed the inquest had been adjourned. The softly-spoken Ballymena man explained his family had been waiting three years for answers and believed one of the experts was critical of Antrim Area Hospital.

“I was hoping it would be over sooner but obviously we need to hear from these two experts,” he said.

“Professor Greer (one of the experts) — he was critical of the hospital. There’s questions that need to be answered.”

Originally, State Coroner John Leckey refused the family’s request for an inquest, however that was overturned earlier this year after Attorney General John Larkin directed the coroner to hold fresh inquests into three cases, including Mrs Moore’s.

Both the Northern and Belfast trusts accept the Co Antrim woman died from blood clots to the lung. However, the inquest is being held to find out whether these could have been detected earlier and, if so, could her life have been saved.

During the hearing at Laganside Courthouse yesterday counsel for the Northern Trust Gerry McAliden said it would be “unfair procedure” for doctors to be questioned about their management of Mrs Moore’s case based on the criticism of the two experts in a report that was inadmissable.

He said the report was not allowed to be introduced as evidence into the inquest because the coroner, Suzanne Anderson, must make her own findings.

Mr McAliden said if Prof Greer and Prof Turnbull are to be called as experts in their field, then statements should have been furnished to the trust in the interests of “fairness” for the clinicians taking the stand.

David McBrien, counsel for the Moore family, said he would not object to an adjournment.

Following both arguments, the coroner said she regrettably would adjourn the inquest until the new year to allow depositions to be taken from both experts.

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