Trust admits liability for Raychel Ferguson’s death

Raymond and Maire Ferguson whose daughter, Raychel Ferguson died in 2001 after being admitted to Altnagelvin Hospital to have her appendix removed. She was nine years old.            Picture: Conor Greenan/Pacemaker
Raymond and Maire Ferguson whose daughter, Raychel Ferguson died in 2001 after being admitted to Altnagelvin Hospital to have her appendix removed. She was nine years old. Picture: Conor Greenan/Pacemaker

The Western Trust has admitted liability for the death of Raychel Ferguson 13 years ago.

In statement to an inquiry investigating the death of the nine-year old after being overloaded with fluid following surgery at Altnagelvin Hospital, the Trust apologised “unreservedly” to her family. The Ferguson family is currently involved in High Court action against the trust.

A report in The Detail from this morning’s sitting of the Hyponatraemia Inquiry - which is examining the death of Raychel and other children through maladministration of intravenous fluids - said Michael Stitt, QC, acting for the Trust under instructions from the Health and Social Care Board’s Directorate of Legal Services, read a statement to the court.

Mr Stitt said: “The Trust, having taken into account the evidence heard during this inquiry including independent expert evidence and the interim comments of the Chairman, formally admits liability. The Trust apologises unreservedly for Raychel’s death and regrets any further hurt and distress that the delay in admitting liability has caused the family.”

Chair Mr Justice John O’Hara, who earlier this week said it was “almost unbelievable” that the Trust stated it would not make a decision on liability until hearing the outcome of the inquiry, replied: “Thank-you very much, Mr Stitt. I’m delighted. Thank-you and I hope that helps the family.”