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COVID-19 Serious Adverse Incident report published

28th September 2023

The Southern Health and Social Care Trust has today published a report into the clusters of Covid-19 which occurred in 2020 in both Craigavon Area and Daisy Hill Hospitals.

A Southern Trust spokesperson said:“An independent panel was appointed to conduct a Level 3 Serious Adverse Incident (SAI) review into the clusters of COVID-19 in Craigavon and Daisy Hill Hospitals in 2020. This work was completed in 2022 and the report shared with the service users and families affected by these outbreaks at that time. The service users and families were given time to review this report and were supported by a family liaison officer throughout the process.

The Trust presented the SAI Report at a Trust Board meeting today and the report is published below.

The report contains important findings and recommendations regarding the prevention, control, and treatment of COVID-19 as well as communication and other areas. We will continue to carefully consider the report and its recommendations and involve the families in this process. We are committed to learning and improving to help reduce the likelihood of COVID-19 outbreaks in our hospitals and minimise the impact of outbreaks if they occur.”

The spokesperson continued: “The review referred to the catastrophic impact of these outbreaks and we fully recognise the enormous distress experienced by the families and hospital staff affected. During the three outbreaks, 15 of the 32 affected patients sadly died.

“The panel concluded that infection control protocols in both hospitals were broadly in line with recommendations and practice at the time and that the nursing and medical care provided to manage patients with COVID-19 was also satisfactory. The report identified important learning from these incidents regarding the management of COVID-19 clusters and ways in which systems could be strengthened regarding safe, high quality, care.

“Deficiencies in the existing hospital estate were identified in the report as having contributed to the likelihood of transmission of infection on the wards. This underlines the need for significant investment to ensure all our hospitals are fit for purpose to meet the challenges of Covid and other new viruses in the modern era.

The report panel acknowledged that at the time of the outbreak, understanding of the transmission of COVID-19 was incomplete and evolving. It is essential that the findings set out in the report are carefully considered and implemented, taking account of more recent regional and national guidance.”