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Written statement to the Assembly by Health Minister Edwin Poots – Dental Hospital Inquiry Report

"I wish to make a statement to the Assembly to advise members of the full publication of the report of the statutory inquiry into the oral medicine service at the Royal Victoria Hospitalís dental hospital and the associated action plan, coordinated by my Department, to address the recommendations of that report.
Monday, 22 July 2013

"On 28 June 2011, when I made my statement to the Assembly on the findings of the statutory inquiry into the oral medicine service at the Royal Victoria Hospital’s dental hospital and how these would be addressed, I placed the executive summary of the report, including all 45 recommendations, in the Assembly Library. I was unable at that time to provide the full report as it contained issues that were subject to regulatory processes that were not complete.

"The Inquiry has now submitted a final version of its report to me and I am placing on my Department’s website today a copy of the full Dental Hospital Inquiry Report and the associated DHSSPS Action Plan to address the recommendations of the report. Most of the 42 action points in the plan have already either been completed in full or in part. Only a small number have yet to be fully implemented. It is envisaged that all the actions should be completed or on-going by September 2014.

"I wish to extend my gratitude to Mr Brian Fee QC, and his team for the comprehensive report they provided to me. This highlights that there were serious deficiencies in the quality of care provided by the Oral Medicine Department of the Dental Hospital and Belfast HSC Trust to the patients recalled, which did impact adversely on the health of some. This should not have happened and I want to ensure that it never happens again.

"I hope that implementation of the Action Plan will help address the concerns that this incident has raised and that it improves public confidence in the Belfast Dental Hospital that lessons have been learnt and services are now managed in such a way to ensure patient safety and the best possible quality of services."

Notes to editors:

  1. The inquiry report and action plan are available online.
  2. For media enquiries please contact DHSSPS Communications Office on 028 9052 0575. Out of office hours, contact the EIS Duty Press Officer on pager 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.