Nov 30 2012 by Craig Robertson, Kilmarnock Standard
NHS Ayrshire and Arran chief executive John Burns released a statement in response to the concerns raised about baby Elijah’s case.
It said: “What happened to baby Elijah and his family is unbearably tragic and they have our heartfelt condolences and apologies.
“We deeply regret the pain they have experienced in Elijah’s short life and since.
“The failings in care are detailed in the review document which we have shared with the family.
“Following Elijah’s birth the obstetrics department commissioned an internal review.
“However our executive medical director, Professor Masterton, felt that a more detailed review, including root cause analysis, was required. He also felt that the original review did not answer some of the valid concerns and questions Elijah’s family had raised through the complaints process and in conversations with other staff. The family were therefore notified that the executive medical director had commissioned a significant adverse event review.
“Staff involved in the review process shared all information about the review freely with Elijah’s family. The assistant director for healthcare governance, quality and standards met with Ms Kennedy on two occasions for over an hour at her home on each occasion and also spoke to her approximately six times on the telephone.
“We therefore sincerely regret that the relationship with Elijah’s family has broken down.
“At the time we urged the family to continue to engage with the complaints process.
“However, when a complainant decides to pursue litigation NHS Scotland guidance states that the complaints process must be suspended: ‘However, if the complainant indicates an intention to instigate or instigates legal action, the complaints procedure should be immediately suspended.’
“We wrote to the family in January 2011 to advise them of this requirement. Our assistant director for healthcare quality, governance and standards has been at the forefront of championing the early involvement of families when harm has occurred.
“At all times we have sought to serve the best interests of Elijah’s family, to have their questions answered, to keep them fully informed and to serve their cause by highlighting the harm they have suffered.”