Belfast Telegraph

I did not go to meeting after Raychel died, doctor insists

Lisa Smyth

A doctor has denied attending a meeting to discuss the death of a nine-year-old patient even though her medical director told police she was there.

Dr Claire Jamison has told the Hyponatraemia Inquiry she was not invited to and did not attend a critical incident meeting following the death of Raychel Ferguson.

The former medical director of the Western Health & Social Care Trust, Dr Raymond Fulton, gave a sworn statement to the police stating that Dr Jamison was present at the meeting.

Dr Jamison told the inquiry this was "absolutely not true".

Chair of the inquiry John O'Hara QC said Dr Jamison, a consultant anaesthetist, is the second clinician to have no recollection of being at the meeting.

She said: "I attended no meetings after Raychel died. I didn't get invited to or attend any meeting."

Raychel underwent emergency surgery to remove her appendix at Altnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry on June 7, 2001. Her condition deteriorated after the operation. She was transferred to the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children but died on June 10.

The inquiry is examining the deaths of three children – Adam Strain, Claire Roberts and Raychel. It is also investigating events after the death of Lucy Crawford and specific issues arising from treatment of Conor Mitchell.

Both children died in hospital.

The issue of fluid management is central to the cases of each of the children. Dr Jamison was a registrar on call in Altnagelvin on the night of Raychel's operation and was one of the anaesthetists involved in her care.

She told the inquiry she added details of the amount of fluid given to Raychel during her operation at the request of Dr Geoff Nesbitt. He asked her to add the information to the record after the death, the hearing was told.

The inquiry is facing its latest delay after yesterday's hearing in Banbridge.

Mr O'Hara QC has adjourned the oral hearings after ruling that nurses involved in the care of Raychel must find new legal representatives.

The inquiry has been told the doctors and nurses have differing accounts of the treatment given.

Story so far

Hyponatraemia Inquiry chair John O'Hara QC yesterday made a separate ruling relating to evidence already given into the death of Claire Roberts (9). During his evidence, her father Alan Roberts alleged that his daughter's medical notes had been amended eight years after her death. But Mr O'Hara said: "I understand as best I can the growing disbelief and lack of faith and confidence that led Mr Roberts to make the allegation." Mr O'Hara refused to make an early ruling as he said it would be unfair to produce any findings at this stage.

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