Sinn Féin Councillor Sandra Duffy has expressed concern that Post-mortems on children who have died in the north will be carried out in Liverpool due to a lack of specialist staff here.
The party’s Health spokesperson was commenting after it emerged that the last remaining consultant will leave his post in early 2019.
Sandra Duffy said:
“While there has been ongoing recruitment issues facing the Paediatric Pathology services, today’s development is deeply concerning.
“The challenges concerning recruiting for specialist services in this case, paediatric pathology, can have a huge impact on patients and their families.
“We need clarification as to what options the Department of Health have explored and why recruitment or the provision of alternative services has not yet been successful.
“At the centre of perinatal and paediatric pathology services are grieving families who in the near future could be facing a trip to England to get certainty on the cause of death of their loved one. We need to ensure that any service has the families placed at the centre.
“The Health and Social Care board has expressed its efforts to recruit a replacement consultant paediatric pathologist but have not clarified what efforts have been made to provide paediatric pathology services in the interim, including exploring all Ireland or cross-border solutions.
“Sinn Féin will be writing to Department of Health to seek a commitment that solutions will be explored as a matter of urgency.”