Northern Ireland news

Hospital A&E staff shortage may be linked to boy's death, court told

Stephen McElroy 
Deborah McAleese

A lack of senior A&E staff on night duty may have contributed towards the death of a young boy just hours after being discharged from hospital, a coroners’ court has heard.

Eleven-year-old Stephen McElroy, right, collapsed and died in Daisy Hill A&E from pneumonia in March 2015, just six hours after being discharged.

A serious adverse incident report by the Southern Health Trust said that a more experienced member of staff at the emergency department may have considered another diagnosis before releasing Stephen, a lawyer for his family told the court.

The court heard that the trust’s report also said that the problem of recruiting appropriately trained staff on night duty was a problem at A&E departments across Northern Ireland.

The case was adjourned for two weeks to agree witnesses. A full inquest is expected to be heard later this year.

Northern Ireland news

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