NWRHA cancels media tour of neonatal ICU

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Port of Spain General Hospital. – File photo

THE North West Regional Health Authority (NWRHA) has cancelled a planned media tour of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of the Port of Spain General Hospital (PoSGH) scheduled for noon on April 25.

In a media release sent at 7 am on April 25, the NWRHA said the decision was made after it received a pre-action protocol letter from lawyers for the parents of babies who died after a bacterial outbreak at the NICU in early April.

In the letter, the lawyers raised concerns over the invitation extended to the media and asked why the parents were not also invited.

“It is strange to say the least, that none of our clients whose babies died at the NICU, were invited to be part of this tour so that there could be some realistic balance to this one-sided event.”

In response the NWRHA said, “In light of this legal development and upon careful consideration of legal counsel, we have decided to cancel today’s visit.”

The invitation to the media had been issued at 11.39 am on April 24 by the NWRHA’s corporate communications department.

The letter from the lawyers for the babies’ parents noted the “mandatory dress code guidelines” for media personnel, which it claimed medical staff at the NICU did not observe.

Attorney Sue Ann Deosaran of Freedom Law Chambers said, “It is unfortunate that the medical staff that was in charge of our clients’ babies did not comply with these rules that were observed more in breach than in actual practice.

The mandatory dress code sent to the media included the guidelines: “short nails, short-sleeved shirts, no jewellery, avoidance of loud colognes or perfumes, no armless clothing and footwear must fully cover toes.”