Belfast Telegraph

Dozens of children recalled by Belfast Trust due to incomplete paediatric audiology records

Sinn Fein MLA Pat Sheehan.
Sinn Fein MLA Pat Sheehan.

Forty-three children have been recalled by Belfast Trust because of incomplete health records, it has emerged.

Following a recent review of paediatric audiology records it came to the Trust's attention that the records for 43 children were not complete.

A Belfast Trust spokesman said: "As a precautionary measure, and to ensure that the Trust holds and maintains a complete set of notes for each child, these children have each been invited to attend an audiology review appointment with access to an Ear, Nose and throat (ENT) consultant during the next few weeks.

"The Trust has sought to minimise the impact of any inconvenience that this might cause children and parents at this busy time of year by arranging extra clinic dates to suit each child as far as possible."

Sinn Fein Health spokesman Pat Sheehan said it was vital the children get reassessed as a "matter of urgency".

The west Belfast MLA added: Sinn Féin made the Department of Health aware of concerns about paediatric audiology assessments in a letter in July.

“We raised these concerns after party colleagues in Mayo/Roscommon had made us aware of problems with audiology services there involving an audiologist believed to be working in the Health and Social Care service in the north," he said.

"A review of services showed a failure in standards for hearing assessment and treatment which adversely affected a number of children in Mayo-Roscommon.

"I subsequently met with the Permanent Secretary of Health and the Chief Executive of the Belfast Trust in October to seek assurances that services in the north were not impacted.

"During the meeting Belfast Trust representatives expressed their confidence that paediatric audiology services were not affected.

"This recent recall of 43 children by the Belfast Trust suggests otherwise and is worrying, in particular for the children involved and their parents.

"I have requested an urgent meeting with Belfast Trust to clarify what has brought about this recall and why it has taken five months since we initially raised our concern regarding children's audiology services to identify these potential problems."

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