A report has criticized the delay by the Belfast Health Trust in declaring the outbreak of pseudomonas at the health care unit, which was responsible for the deaths of four babies at hospitals in Belfast and Derry.
The outbreak claimed the lives of three babies at the Royal Jubilee Maternity Hospital in Belfast in January and of a baby at the Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry in December. It was found that the deaths were most likely linked to use of tap water during nappy changes, according to the new report by NORTH’S Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority.
The interim repot of the authority made 15 recommendations including speedy completion of the new neonatal intensive care unit at the Royal Jubilee Maternity Hospital. The investigations were carried out under the chairmanship of Prof Patricia Ann Troop, former chief executive of the health protection agency in England.
Prof Troop said that if the Belfast trust acted sooner on the outbreak, the lives of a few babies could have been saved. The health care units must declare an outbreak after the first case and not three cases.
Northern Ireland health minister, Edwin Poots had said that the Pseudomonas bacteria originated in taps at the neo-natal unit in the Royal Jubilee Maternity Hospital. He had pointed out that new ultraviolet light taps that are capable of killing the bacterium would be introduced in the neo-natal unit of the hospital to clean the infection.