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University Hospital chairman to receive details on reporting breaches today

Published:Thursday | October 22, 2015 | 10:07 AM

The Chairman of the board of management of the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) is expected to receive by midday a detailed account of reporting breaches at the institution in relation to the deaths of several babies.

The breach was discussed during a board meeting yesterday, where Chairman, Sterling Soares, also ordered the report.

Meanwhile, the UHWI has taken the blame for failing to tell the Health Ministry about the infectious outbreak at the hospital that resulted in the deaths of the babies.

The Health Minister, Dr Fenton Ferguson, has been under intense pressure since Tuesday when he told a press conference that he learned of the problems only on Friday – the same day the story was first reported in the media.

The acting head of the Department of Microbiology, John Lindo, says a timely report would have triggered a series of actions by the Ministry of Health and its international partners including the Caribbean Public Health Agency and the Pan-American Health Organisation.

However, he said there were many previous cases of infections at the hospital.

Lindo said the UHWI's infection control team was confident that it could have controlled what it called the cluster of cases there, like it had done in the past.

Eighteen babies have died at the UHWI's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and the Cornwall Regional Hospital in the past four months because of infections caused by the bacteria – klebsiella and serratia.