Northern Ireland news

Hyponatraemia Inquiry: Regulator to review its decision on need for 'further action' on nurses linked to Raychel Ferguson's death

Nine-year Raychel Ferguson died in 2001

A PROFESSIONAL body has confirmed it will "look again" at its decision not to take action against nurses involved in the care of a nine-year-old Derry girl whose death was "avoidable".

The London-based Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) had previously ruled they were imposing sanctions on those individuals linked to failings in Raychel Ferguson's hospital care.

The schoolgirl was one of five children whose deaths from hyponatraemia formed part of Northern Ireland's longest running public inquiry.

Published last January - 14 years after it was ordered - the review found that four of the deaths could have been prevented and that there was an "indefensible" culture in which parents were "deliberately misled" by consultants and health service management.

Raychel died in 2001 at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children after being transferred from Altnagelvin hospital in Derry following an appendix operation.

The Ferguson family were heavily critical of the NMC decision.

A NMC spokesman said: "We were made aware of failings in care around hyponatraemia by nurses at the Western Health and Social Care Trust.

"We carefully examined those concerns and decided that we did not need to take any further action.

"After further communication with one of the families affected by the failings, we have decided to look again at our decision to ensure that it is sufficient to keep people safe."

The spokesman said the NMC recognised it was "a difficult time for the family".

Raychel's mother, Marie Ferguson told BBC Radio Foyle said they've had to do "everything privately themselves".

"We had a petition signed by thousands of people calling for the implementation of Raychel's Law and a duty of candour," she said.

"Without political help and support it's going nowhere.

"My message to the politicians would be: How would they feel if it was their only daughter or son robbed from them and then to be lied to and treated so badly?"

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