Hospital In Baby Deaths Inquiry

An investigation is under way into the sudden deaths of four babies at the neonatal unit of Altnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry. The babies died in the space of a few months, the last in September when the matter was referred to the coroner.

It could be a year before the coroner is in a position to make a report. The hospital said it was co-operating fully with the inquiry and that any unexpected death was a source of sadness for the staff.

Neonatal units specialise in treating babies who are sick or premature.

A hospital spokesperson added: “We would confirm that in September we referred four cases of sudden infant death in the hospital to the coroner for investigation. We have given our sincere condolences to the bereaved parents and families. We believe it is inappropriate for us to make any further media statements on this matter, pending the completion of those investigations.”

The hospital said the babies were weeks or months old.

Coroners are required by law to investigate deaths which are violent or unnatural, sudden or of an unknown cause.