The “Royal Maternity” Babies

For over forty years, I have got used to seeing local TV reporters standing in front of Belfast landmarks such as the City Hall or Courthouse. And too often I have seen familiar faces from BBC London or American news channels like CBS and CNN. Its par for the course if you live in or near Belfast.

Yet I dont think I have seen a sadder sight than the news stories this week. News Reporters at the entrance to the Royal Maternity Hospital (part of a large complex which includes the Royal Victoria Hospital, the Royal Childrens Hospital and other Units). One of the City’s largest employers…we all know at least one person who works there……….and we all have experience of being a patient, a visitor or indeed bereaved. My own father died there twenty six years ago, yesterday.

An outbreak of infection …pseudomonas…has tragically taken the lives of three babies in the neo-natal unit in the past ten days or so. Anyone with experience of infant mortality (my granddaughter died on the day of her birth seven years ago) will know just how painful it can be.

My heart goes out to the parents of the three babies. And my thoughts are with the parents who will not know the results of tests carried out for another twenty four hours.

A “deep clean” is now taking place in the neo-natal unit.

I would hate this Blog to always be about Politics. Because Belfast and Norn Iron is NOT about Politics. Or Civil War. At least not always. Mostly it is about people muddling thru as best they can. And people……….Catholic nationalists, Protestant unionists and letsgetalongerists working in hospitals to make lives better.

The tragedy of Norn Iron is NOT that people are monsters. The tragedy is that they are very decent people.

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