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Bereaved families' trauma will be compounded by loss of child pathology service says MLA whose baby grandson died

Cameron Tindale from Craigavon died suddenly in May 2016. He was 15 months old
Seanín Graham

A POLITICIAN whose 15-month-old grandson died suddenly has warned of the "traumatic" likely impact of forcing a bereaved family to travel to Liverpool for their child's postmortem examination.

Ulster Unionist MLA Doug Beattie said his daughter "would not have have survived" having to fly to England with her little boy's remains following his death.
Cameron Tindale was discovered lying face down in his cot by his mother Leigh as she went to wake him on the morning of May 4 2016.

Just 12 hours earlier the Craigavon toddler had been jumping up and down and playing with his older brother.

A postmortem examination was carried out in Belfast. It took two days. The family were able to bury Cameron three days after he died.

At an inquest into his death last year a consultant apologised for "unacceptable delays" in informing the family of hospital test results - which arrived on the morning of the little boy's funeral.

"Cameron had to undergo a rigorous postmortem which was incredibly traumatic for the family, having gone through the pain of losing a child suddenly," Mr Beattie said.

"But imagine what it would like for a family coping with that unimaginable grief and then having to put their child in the hold of a plane and travel to Liverpool. Some of these parents will be forced to leave other children at home. It is absolutely traumatic. It is cruel."

Mr Beattie said he was "ashamed" and "angry" at the loss of the service which he linked to "political failure".

"This is not the fault of the Belfast trust or the Health and Social Care Board as I know they have tried to recruit and there is a shortage," he said.

"But as a politician I think we failed to come up with any sort of strategic planning for this issue. I wasn't even aware there was a shortage of pathologists until today."

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