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Doctors have committed their lives to improving health of children and do not deserve witch-hunt

Letter of the day: total dedication

I write as a member of staff in the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children (RBHSC) to question the wisdom of your front-page article and Editor's Viewpoint (May 14), which appear to amount to a witch-hunt, as I can see no benefit to anyone of such "investigative journalism".

Sadly, this "news" will not bring back any of the poor children, whose untimely deaths were examined by the Hyponatraemia Inquiry, nor will it ease the grief of their devoted families.

Neither will it do anything to help the morale of staff in RBHSC, trying their best in extremely challenging circumstances to continue to deliver the excellent care all our sick patients need and deserve. I am sure that everyone would recognise that anyone who is being harassed (in this case, by having salary details published) would find it difficult to work to the best of their ability.

The named doctors are certainly not business 'fat cats', giving themselves millions in bonuses.

Rather, Dr Robert Taylor and Dr Heather Steen have made tireless sacrifices in order to improve the delivery of healthcare for children throughout Northern Ireland and these clinical excellence awards simply recognise that.

Dr Taylor first pioneered the training of hospital staff in the techniques of resuscitation and intensive care of dangerously sick children. Then, he was the main driver of the programme here to help ventilated children get home from the paediatric intensive care unit.

Without his skills and the time he now devotes to transporting critically ill patients within Northern Ireland to specialist centres in the UK and Ireland many children would not be alive today.

I can assure you both these dedicated doctors continue to commit their lives to improve the health of children, working well above and beyond the call of duty and their pay-grade.


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