Prison Service provided appropriate care to Fred McClenaghan, ombudsman finds

Prison Service provided appropriate care to Fred McClenaghan, ombudsman finds

Magilligan Prison near Limavady in Co Derry (PA)

The Northern Ireland Prison Service provided “appropriate care” to killer Fred McClenaghan before his death, a watchdog has found.

The 57-year-old died at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast on October 21 2018 after falling ill at Magilligan Prison.

Prisoner Ombudsman Dr Lesley Carroll investigated the circumstances and events leading up to his death, and found that appropriate care had been given to McClenaghan.

A port-mortem examination found that his death was caused by a ruptured aneurysm.

McClenaghan had collapsed in prison five days before his death.

An independent clinical review and expert opinion from a consultant neurosurgeon informed the ombudsman’s investigation that an earlier referral to hospital was unlikely to have resulted in a different outcome.

Dr Carroll made one recommendation, to introduce a policy or expand existing policy to provide guidance on the processes to be followed in the event of a sudden collapse.

This recommendation was described as having been accepted and a joint Trust and Prison Service procedure for responding to a collapsed patient requiring cardiopulmonary resuscitation in prisons was finalised in May 2020.

“I hope it is of some comfort to the family to know that Mr McClenaghan received an appropriate standard of care, that his friends were nearby when he collapsed and that it was possible for them to spend some time with him while he was in hospital,” Dr Carroll said.

“I offer my sincere condolences to Mr McClenaghan’s family on their sad loss and in the knowledge that the experience of loss can be long-lasting.

“I hope this report provides information to address some of the questions they raised and explains events leading up to Mr McClenaghan’s death.”

A spokesperson for the Northern Ireland Prison Service said: “The NI Prison Service would extend our deepest sympathy to the family of Fred McClenaghan.

“We would also like to pay tribute to our staff and healthcare colleagues who did everything they could to support Mr McClenaghan during this difficult time.”

An inquest is expected to take place at Belfast Coroner’s Court later this year.

McClenaghan was jailed in 2017 for the murder of Marion Millican, 51, at a laundrette in Portstewart in March 2011.

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