Speaking after the Health Minister Robin Swann MLA announced a public inquiry into the work of a consultant urologist at Craigavon Area Hospital, Upper Bann MP Carla Lockhart said:
“This is a matter of grave concern. When attending consultations with medical professionals we take for granted that the clinical practice offered will be of the highest standard. Clearly in light of today’s announcement the Trust, and the Minister, has established serious concerns about patient safety.
First and foremost in my thoughts today are those patients affected by this discovery. It will be a matter of upset and anxiety and I trust the Minister will ensure that they are offered the support they need at this distressing time.
I welcome this public inquiry and trust that it will be established and get to work soon. I would implore the Minister also to look at the wider issue of clinical governance. Clearly as it stands it is not robust enough. That must change and I urge the Minister to set a major reform process underway so that we do not have further instances like this in the future.”
Upper Bann MLA Jonathan Buckley also welcomed its establishment. Mr Buckley is a member of the Assembly's Health Committee and he said,
"There is obviously great concern in the community given the large number of patients potentially affected by this. Key to this process must be identifying how this was able to go on for so long. We must establish whether there were warning signs which could have alerted management in the Trust to this issue earlier.
Repeated inquiries are not a solution, but instead are a symptom of the problem we face. Ensuring that this never happens again must be the solution sought by everyone and action taken within the Department to secure this outcome."