06/08/2014

Prison Response To Collapsed Inmate 'Inadequate' - Ombudsman

The Prisoner Ombudsman for Northern Ireland has described as "inadequate" the response by staff at Maghaberry Prison to a prisoner who collapsed in his cell and subsequently died.

46-year-old David Brown died from a brain haemorrhage at an outside hospital on 15 December 2012, while in the custody of Maghaberry Prison.

The ombudsman said toxicology tests have revealed painkillers in his system, which had been prescribed to him, and that no other common drugs were detected in his system.

"When Mr Brown was discovered in an unresponsive state in his cell, the NIPS response was inadequate," Prisoner Ombudsman Tom McGonicle said. "He was left unattended for five minutes; the alarm was not immediately raised; other prisoners were not locked; and the nurse was not made aware that it was an emergency situation."

But Mr McGonicle continued: "However our clinical reviewer was not critical of his medical management in prison, and did not feel that an opportunity to achieve an earlier diagnosis existed, or that there would have been a possibility to achieve an alternative outcome for Mr Brown."

The investigation into the incident also identified four matters requiring improvement; two of which (post-incident support for staff, and record-keeping) had been previously made and accepted by the Prison Service and the South-Eastern Health and Social Care Trust.

The Northern Ireland Prison Service (NIPS) has accepted the recommendations of the report and said it has already implemented them.

Mr McGonigle, in expressing sympathy to the next of kin, said: "While some things could have been done better, a key finding of this independent investigation is that there was no possibility to achieve an alternative outcome for Mr Brown."

(IT/CD)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

28 September 2017
Prisoner Dies At Maghaberry
A prisoner has died in custody at Maghaberry jail. The Northern Ireland Prison Service (NIPS) said the 57-year-old man passed away on Thursday morning, 28 September. His next of kin have been informed and an investigation has been launched.
23 February 2009
Prison Suicide Report Gets Assembly Discussion
Sinn Féin MLA's Raymond McCartney and Martina Anderson will present a motion at the Stormont Assembly today calling for the full implementations of the recommendations of the report made by the Prison Ombudsman into the death of prisoner Colin Bell in Maghaberry Prison.
01 May 2019
Police Seek Help Tracing Missing Greenisland Man Mervyn Brown
Police are appealing to the public for help tracing a man missing since Monday. Mervyn Brown, from Greenisland, County Antrim was last seen in the Steeple Road area of the town at around 8.30am on Monday 29 April.
29 March 2011
'Threat' Cell Note Probe Underway
A criminal inquiry has begun after a prison officer allegedly planted personal details about his governor on a note in a dissident republican suspect's cell.
20 May 2019
Appeal For Missing Teenager
Police are growing concerned for a 14-year-old boy who has been missing from Newry since Saturday. Nathan Cunningham was last seen in the town at around 7.30pm on 18 May, wearing black Adidas tracksuit bottoms, a grey and black hooded top and black trainers.