Northern Ireland

Apology and damages for Springfield Road surgery

A doctors' surgery in Belfast is to receive undisclosed damages for being wrongly linked to issues around releasing a body to a bereaved family.

An apology to the Springfield Road surgery was also read out in the High Court as part of the settlement of its defamation action.

The practice sued the BBC over the contents of a Nolan Show programme broadcast in July last year.

But in court its lawyers said the case has now been resolved.

As part of the settlement an agreed statement was read out by counsel for the defendants.

It set out how the programme "suggested that the Springfield Road surgery had acted in a wholly unacceptable and unprofessional manner, as a result of which a family, to its distress, was unable to arrange the burial of a deceased family member in a timely way".

The statement continued: "The reference to the Springfield Road surgery was incorrect.

"The BBC acknowledges that the Springfield Road surgery and its doctors were blameless and were not involved in any way with the bereaved family.

"The BBC apologises unreservedly to the plaintiffs for any distress and damage it has caused them."

It also made clear that a correction had been issued at the end of the programme accepting the error.

The statement said: "The BBC has agreed to pay the plaintiffs' damages and costs."

Following approval of its contents, the judge agreed to stay the action.