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Lack of senior A&E staff may have contributed to death of a young boy, 11, court told

A lack of senior A&E staff on night duty may have contributed towards the death of a young boy just hours after being discharged from hospital, a coroners' court has heard.

Eleven-year-old Stephen McElroy collapsed and died in Daisy Hill A&E from pneumonia in March 2015, just six hours after being discharged.

Paul and Pattie McElroy leaving the inquest into their son Stephen’s death
Paul and Pattie McElroy leaving the inquest into their son Stephen’s death

A serious adverse incident report by the Southern Health Trust said that a more experienced member of staff at the emergency department may have considered another diagnosis before releasing Stephen, a lawyer for his family told the court.

The court heard that the trust's report also said that the problem of recruiting appropriately trained staff on night duty was a problem at A&E departments across Northern Ireland.

The case was adjourned for two weeks to agree witnesses.

A full inquest is expected to be heard later this year.

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