Belfast Telegraph

Family of hospital death girl (9) dismiss trust's findings of no cover-up in tragedy

by staff reporter

The family of a girl who died from a hyponatraemia-related condition have questioned a Northern Ireland health trust's findings that there was no cover-up after her death.

The long-delayed Hyponatraemia Inquiry was set up in 2004 after allegations that fatal errors had been made by hospital staff administering intravenous fluids.

It investigated the deaths of five children, including Raychel Ferguson (9), who died in June 2001. She died in the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children after an operation to remove her appendix at Altnagelvin Hospital.

Yesterday the inquiry published allegations by a whistleblower from the Western Health Trust. According to the BBC, they raised questions over searches of a premises in the Western Health Board in 2004.

However, an internal inquiry by the Health and Social Care Board's published yesterday, found no evidence suggesting information had been deliberately removed or that searches had not been carried out properly.

Des Doherty, the Ferguson family's solicitor, said they believed the investigation was "without merit" and that the family still believe there had been an attempt to cover-up the truth.

The Health and Social Care Board told the BBC a full and thorough investigation had been carried out, which found no evidence to support claims of any "deliberate attempt to remove evidence" or "any deliberate attempts to destroy evidence or equipment".

The board added that it was confident that no evidence was withheld from the Hyponatraemia Inquiry.

Belfast Telegraph

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