26/06/2013

100 RVH Patients To Be Recalled

More than 100 patients are to be recalled over concerns they were not treated properly.

It is understood the call backs affect patients who visited the Royal Victoria Hospital emergency department between 6 May and 20 June.

The patients were treated by a locum doctor who no longer works for the Trust.

The Belfast Trust has stressed the review is "strictly precautionary", adding, "our investigation to-date has not identified that any patient has come to harm."

Patients affected, will have received letters asking them to return to the hospital for a precautionary review and check-up.

Trust Medical Director Dr Tony Stevens said people should not be unduly concerned, explaining: "We are reviewing one doctor's performance and have identified a number of people that we would like to follow-up. Those people have been contacted.

"I must stress that we are following-up with these patients as an additional precaution to make sure they received the best possible quality of care.

"This review affects a very small number of people. Over the seven week period under review almost 10,500 people attended ED in the Royal and we are reviewing 105 patient notes."

Speaking about the review, Alliance Health spokesperson Kieran McCarthy MLA has called on Health Minister Edwin Poots to investigate the circumstances that have resulted in the action.

Mr McCarthy said: "This is extremely concerning news that 100 patients are having their cases reviewed for possible misdiagnosis. This would be a serious breakdown in proper procedures if patients have had a misdiagnosis. We must have complete confidence in the decisions and the diagnosis that doctors are making.

"The Health Minister Edwin Poots must urgently review the circumstances that have resulted in this happening.

"He made a statement to the Assembly where he acknowledged that hospitals were struggling to meet their health targets. If this review of certain cases proves that mistakes were made, then serious questions must be asked as to why it was allowed happen.

"I hope the Minister will allow for a proper debate in the Assembly on this incident and other problems in the Health Service. So far he has been reluctant to do anything other than make short statements to Assembly Members which doesn't allow for proper scrutiny."

(JP/CD)

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