Health trust apologises over Tony Taylor medication row

Derry republican Tony Taylor
Connla Young

A HEALTH trust has admitted that it did not follow its own policies when adminstering medication to republican inmate Tony Taylor in Maghaberry Prison.

Solicitors for the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust apologised after prison staff insisted that they had to be present while the 48-year-old took some forms of medication.

The Derry man was returned to jail in March after his early release licence was revoked by then secretary of state Theresa Villiers.

He is currently being held without charge at Maghaberry prison in Co Antrim.

Earlier this month his solicitor Aidan Carlin launched legal action amid claims that the 48-year-old was denied medication for several days between June 30 and July 6 while being held in the punishment block, known as the Care and Supervision Unit, at Maghaberry prison.

He claims his client was told he was required to receive medication by “supervised swallow”, meaning staff look on as an inmate takes medication.

It is believed Mr Taylor then refused to take any medication.

Solicitors for the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, who provide medical services at Maghaberry, have now confirmed they had not followed their own guidelines.

In a a letter to Mr Taylor's solicitor they said: “The Trust acknowledges that they did not follow their own policy when dealing with Mr Taylor’s period in CSU,” he said.

“The Trust will review the processes involved in this case to ensure, in so far as is possible, that this error is not repeated.”

The trust solicitor said that under standard operating procedure medications that present high risk of overdose “should be administered as supervised whilst patients are in CSU”.

He added that ‘low risk’ medication “as per the SOP (standard operating procedure) could have been given to Mr Taylor in possession”.

“The Trust apologise that this was not done,” he said.

Mr Carlin said his client will now take further action.


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