Health Minister ‘led us up the garden path’

HOSPITAL DEATH'Derry no6-19/3/07-TREVOR MCBRIDE PICTURE�'79 year old Maureen McGinley of Strabane-inquiry into her death-see story
HOSPITAL DEATH'Derry no6-19/3/07-TREVOR MCBRIDE PICTURE�'79 year old Maureen McGinley of Strabane-inquiry into her death-see story
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The McGinley family, whose mother Maureen sustained over 30 fractures after passing away at Altnagelvin Hospital in January 2007, have slammed the Minister for Health Edwin Poots of “leading us up the garden path and adding to our heartbreak”.

The Strabane family received a letter from the Minister on Thursday stating he was unable to further assist them, the family have campaigned for six years to discover just how their mother received the injuries. The 78 year old died of natural causes but the coroner discovered the large amount of unexplained rib fractures during her post-mortem. The family were then notified of the disturbing news only two months later. No explanation was ever given as to how Mrs. McGinley suffered the traumas. In the latest step in their campaign, her family met with Health Minister Poots last July. Thursday’s letter was the first correspondence they received following that meeting.

Martin McGinley said: “When we met last July he promised to assist in every way to resolve what happened to my late mother and while he apologises for ‘not writing sooner’ I think ten months to be told, ‘sorry, no’ is simply not good enough. How much careful consideration did it take to tell us ‘go back and complain to the Ombudsman,’ which is effectively what this letter states.”

An angry and upset Martin continued: “The Minister is unable to identify any possible or suitable new investigations into the case. His suggestion then is, if we find new evidence; ‘You may wish to reconsider the position put to you to return to the ombudsman with the maladministration of your mothers case.” Martin fumed: “While this is another door slammed in our face, two things are clear, this is not good enough and is certainly not the end of the case for us.” A spokesperson for Minister Poots said: “The Minister has recently written to the family of the late Mrs Maureen McGinley explaining that it has taken some months to thoroughly review the action previously taken, in respect of how injuries identified at post mortem occurred to their late mother and to consider, whether there were any new options for an investigation.

“In his letter the Minister has given advice to the family on a potential way forward and has offered assistance from the Department if they chose to accept this advice. The Minister once again expresses his sympathy to the McGinley family on the loss of their mother.”