Belfast Telegraph

PSNI to conduct investigation into findings of Hyponatraemia Inquiry

The PSNI have confirmed that they will conduct their own investigations into the findings of a report into the deaths of five children at Northern Ireland hospitals.

The Hyponatraemia Inquiry, which was first announced in 2004, examined the role fluid mismanagement played in the children's deaths, as well as the way the deaths were handled by health officials and whether some of the deaths could have been prevented.

Hyponatremia is a condition that occurs when the level of sodium in your blood is abnormally low.

In his long-awaited report, John O'Hara QC said the deaths of four of the children were preventable and caused by medical negligence.

He also hit out at a culture of secrecy within the health service and said that some witnesses "had to have the truth dragged out of them, while others had deliberately withheld vital information".

The PSNI have confirmed they are setting up a dedicated team to investigate the findings of the report.

On Friday, the police officer who will lead the new team, Detective Superintendent Richard Campbell told the BBC that the PSNI is in the process of gathering together "a team of specialist detectives who will focus on taking forward police enquiries following the publication of the inquiry".

"We have been in contact with the families and their representatives and will seek to meet with them over the coming days and weeks as our work progresses," he said.

Following the publication of the inquiry's findings parents of the children met with the permanent secretary of the Department of Health, Richard Pengelly, who said he was committed to addressing the concerns raised by Mr O'Hara.

Earlier this month it was revealed plans are under way to create a working group to examine and implement the recommendations made by the explosive Hyponatraemia Inquiry report.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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