Belfast Telegraph

PSNI investigating death of patient who left Antrim Hospital ward

The male pensioner was a patient at Antrim Area Hospital
The male pensioner was a patient at Antrim Area Hospital
Lauren Harte

By Lauren Harte

Police are investigating the death of an elderly patient following an incident at Antrim Area Hospital.

The man, who was in his 80s, left a ward and got into difficulty in another part of the hospital on Saturday morning.

It is believed he may have suffered burn injuries.

He was transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, where he later died.

The PSNI said it is liaising with the Health and Safety Executive and the Northern Trust, which is responsible for the hospital, to "determine the circumstances surrounding the incident".

"A post-mortem examination will take place in due course to determine the cause of death," it added.

The trust said it had immediately notified the relevant authorities following an incident involving a male patient.

It confirmed that a health service investigation had been ordered.

The trust added: "We offer our sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family of the deceased and can confirm that the incident has been notified to the Health and Safety Executive and the PSNI.

"As a result, an investigation is now under way and we are also in the process of instigating a level three serious adverse incident investigation, which will be independently led.

"We are not in a position to make any further comment at this stage."

Ulster Unionist councillor Leah Smyth said she was "shocked" and "heartbroken" for the man's family.

She said: "This is terrible news and my thoughts are with the family. There must be a thorough investigation into this incident to determine exactly what has happened and to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again.

"It's hard to imagine how his family must be feeling right now."

Council colleague Jim Montgomery stressed that "serious questions need answered".

He said: "My initial thoughts go to the family of the man involved in this fatal incident.

"A hospital should be a place of safety for anyone in it.

"It is incumbent upon the health trust to ensure their inquiry is comprehensive and any lessons to be learned are acted upon.

"If this was an area that the public should not have got into, then there needs to be clarification on how access was gained."

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