Three-fold increase in medical mishaps at Southern Trust hospitals

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The lives of patients are being put at risk through medical mishaps which have trebled at local hospitals including Craigavon Area and South Tyrone.

Last year, there were 144 so-called Serious Adverse Incidents reported within the Southern Trust area, up from just 43 in 2010.

Worryingly the most up-to-date figures until September suggest that 2015’s tally will be even higher.

The local trust had the second highest number of dangerous breakdowns in health care, with Belfast Trust recording the most at 171.

The worst month on record was January with 20 serious incidents reported in the Southern Trust.

Across Northern Ireland, there were 727 reports of harmful if not deadly lapses in care during the past year. The blunders include fatal errors in treatment, incidents of patients not being treated quickly enough and failures in services and equipment.

One of Northern Ireland’s most senior medical directors, Dr Tony Stevens, warned that a shortage of doctors and qualified staff, and long patient waiting times at hospitals were contributing to the deaths of patients.