Royal Victoria Hospital confirms delays contributed to patient deaths

19 February 2014

Royal Victoria Hospital medical director concedes shortage of doctors and prolonged waiting times were significant factors in a number of hospital deaths.

Royal Victoria Hospital confirms delays resulted in patient deaths in 2013

The medical director of the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust has confirmed during a recent interview that as many as five patients died at the Royal Victoria Hospital during 2013 due to delays in receiving treatment in the Accident and Emergency Department.

The A&E Department at the Royal has been the subject of criticism in recent months, most recently in January 2014 when a major incident was declared due to a large backlog of patients. Additional staff had to be called in to deal with the incident and this staff shortage appears to be an ongoing problem within the Belfast Trust and the Royal in particular.

In the recent media interview interview, Dr Tony Stevens stated that the shortage of doctors, as well as prolonged waiting times in the initial triage department, had been significant factors in a number of deaths, as many as five during 2013. Dr Stevens went on to say that the problems are not confined to the Royal Victoria Hospital and there is a shortage of doctors throughout Northern Ireland.

The Health Minister Edwin Poots has subsequently stated that these deaths will be investigated and the Coroner may be called upon to review the circumstances of each case.

If you believe that there has been a delay in medical treatment provided to you or a family member which has resulted in injury, and which could have been avoided, Worthingtons Solicitors have an experienced team of litigators who specialise in Medical negligence.

The Medical Negligence Team will gladly provide advice on all aspects of such claims in Northern Ireland. Contact Claire McDaid or Nikki McConnell for advice and guidance on this process.

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