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Wednesday 23 August 2017

Grieving sister calls for answer over cath lab report

Catherine Power Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins
Catherine Power Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

A woman whose brother died from a heart attack while being transferred to hospital has demanded to know who authorised an unnamed HSE official to provide a critical briefing report on University Hospital Waterford's (UHW) investment priority.

Catherine Power insisted she "wanted answers and names" in respect of any Government and HSE officials involved in providing data to an independent expert who later recommended against investing in a second catheterisation lab in Co Waterford.

Her brother Thomas (39) died in an ambulance while being transferred from UHW to Cork University Hospital (CUH). Mr Power died of cardiac arrest just 30 minutes into the journey.

A catheterisation or cath lab allows angiograms to be performed along with heart stent procedures. UHW has one cath lab, but has been campaigning for a decade for a second.

"This should not have happened - Thomas should still be with us. If there was a second cath lab at Waterford it could have made all the difference," Ms Power said.

Now she wants answers over who provided disputed information to the NHS consultant asked to review the need for a second cath lab in Waterford.

Read More: 'I love you and I'll see you in Cork' - Words of dad-to-be before he died while being transferred between hospitals

"I want answers and I won't stop campaigning until I get answers. I want to know the names of the people involved in all of this," she said.

European Parliament candidate Kieran Hartley has already lodged a formal complaint with gardaí over changes that were allegedly made to the critical risk register for UHW.

The risk register is a critical rating determined by each hospital and highlights areas where it needs investment to protect patient outcomes.

A briefing note from the HSE was consulted by Belfast-based cardiologist Professor Niall Herity, before he made recommendations on the second UHW cath lab.

While Prof Herity recommended greater staffing and opening hours for UHW, he did not recommend the provision of funds for a second cath lab.

The briefing document provided by the HSE for Prof Herity advised him: "The HSE has advised that the provision of a second cath lab and 24/7 PPCI service in UHW is not a top investment priority for the South-South West Hospital Group."

Irish Independent

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