Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Trust apologises to families of five children who died in its care

Health trust's chief executive told inquiry into the deaths it sincerely regrets the pain and suffering experienced by the families

By Anna Maguire

A health trust has apologised to the families of five children who died in its care. 

Belfast Health Trust’s chief executive, Colm Donaghy, told an ongoing inquiry into the children’s deaths that the Trust sincerely regrets the pain and suffering experienced by the families of the children.

He was speaking today at an ongoing public inquiry into the deaths of the five children - Adam Strain, Claire Roberts, Lucy Crawford Raychel Ferguson and Conor Mitchell - who died between 1995 and 2003 at Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children (RBHSC).

Raychel Ferguson (9), Conor Mitchell (15) and Lucy Crawford (17 months) were treated in different hospitals prior to being transferred to RBHSC.

Speaking on behalf of Belfast Trust, he said that the health authority “apologises for all the shortcomings in care at the Royal Hospitals that have been identified, either prior to this inquiry or during the hearings”.

Mr Donaghy also acknowledged that the Trust’s handling of litigation had added to the hurt and grief felt by the families.

The inquiry is examining the deaths of three children, Adam Strain, Claire Roberts and Raychel Ferguson. It is also investigating the events following the deaths of Lucy Crawford and Conor Mitchell.

Last month, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust admitted liability for the deaths of Adam Strain (4) and Claire Roberts. The children died in 1995 and 1996 respectively.

Hyponatraemia, which occurs when there is a low amount of sodium in the blood stream, is the common thread connecting the deaths of the five children.

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