MSP calls for sensitivity in NHS Review

Thursday December 13th 2018

Christine Grahame MSP FMQs

Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale MSP Christine Grahame has raised the tragic death of Peebles woman Amanda Cox with the First Minister to seek assurances that any review will be conducted sensitively and thoroughly.

Ms Grahame raised concerns that Mrs Cox’s husband, Michael, had been asked to attend a meeting with the hospital administration to discuss a “review of processes” less than three days after his wife’s death.

Mrs Cox had given birth to her son, Murray, prematurely at Borders General Hospital on 6th December and subsequently both were transferred to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary for specialist care. However on Monday Mrs Cox was reported missing from her ward having not returned from a trip to see her son in the nearby neonatal ward.

Despite a search by police, Mrs Cox was only found seven hours later seriously ill in a disused area of the hospital. She passed away shortly after. It is believed Mrs Cox had taken a wrong turn on trying to return to her ward before collapsing.

Commenting Ms Grahame said:

“Firstly, my thoughts are with all those who knew and loved Mrs Cox, particularly her husband and infant son who remains in hospital. It is a dreadful tragedy for the family, and a small child has been left without a mother. I also recognise how distressing this must be for the staff on the wards who were caring for Mrs Cox. It must be properly investigated so answers can be given to the family and assurances made that it will never happen again.

“I understand an internal inquiry is under way and the procurator fiscal has issued a report. However, I have heard from Amanda Cox’s husband, Michael, that the hospital administration has requested a meeting with him this week to discuss a “review of processes”. The man is grieving and traumatised. Proposing holding such a meeting less than three days after Mrs Cox’s death is highly inappropriate and frankly looks like face saving on the part of bosses.

“I have asked that the First Minister ensures that the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport keeps a very close watching brief on the matter to ensure any inquiry is thorough and carried out in a manner sensitive to the family. I await more facts, information and understanding of what happened to come to light and will continue to offer any support I can to Mrs Cox’s family at this unimaginably difficult time.”

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