Thursday 23 October 2014

HSE apologises over delayed cancer diagnosis for tragic Sharon

The HSE has unreservedly apologised for shortcomings in care of the creche manager, while two actions for nervous shock were settled for €62,500

Tim Healy

Published 13/05/2014 | 12:32

Sharon McEneaney: died after long wait
for diagnosis of tumour
Sharon McEneaney
Sharon McEneaney: died from cancer at the age of 31
Sharon McEneaney: died from cancer at the age of 31
Sharon's sister Tanya McEneaney
Sharon's sister Tanya McEneaney

THE HSE has unreservedly apologised for shortcomings in the management and care of a 31-year old young woman who later died of abdominal cancer.

Sharon McEneaney, Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan  who waited eight months for a cancer diagnosis died in 2009 from a cancerous tumour in her abdomen.

The High Court heard the crèche manager from Carrickmacroos in Co Monaghan had visited Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda on several occasions from November 2007.

Her malignant cancer tumour was diagnosed in July 2008 but her Counsel Liam Reidy SC said it was unfortunately too late and she died on April 15, 2009.

In an apology read to the court, Margaret Swords, General Manager of the Louth/Meath Hospital Group on behalf of the HSE and Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda apologised for the care of the late Sharon Mcneaney at the Drogheda Hosptial.

"As a hospital and an organisation we fully accept that we failed Sharon but from our progress in making the changes required you will see we are making the hospital safer for our  patients," the statement said.

It added: "I know the loss of a loved one is extremely hard for the family. However, the loss of Sharon, in the circumstances as we know them, is even more painful."

Ms Justice Mary Irvine was told that two actions by Sharon's family in relation to the death and an action for nervous shock had been settled for a total of €62,500.

Sharon's sister Tanya McEneaney had sued HSE as a result of the medical care her sister received and for nervous shock.

It was claimed there was a failure to carry out an ultrasound when Ms McEneaney attended the Drogheda hosptial in October 2007 and also in November of that year. It was claimed that had she been diagnosed in November 2007, she would have been appropriately treated and would have survived. The claims were denied.

Ms McEneaney first attended the Emergency Department of Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda in October 2007, complaining of abdominal pain.

In January 2012, a Medical Council fitness-to-practise inquiry found consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Etop Akpan guilty of poor professional performance on two counts in relation to the case and  that on July 2008, he failed to taek adequare steps to implement the plan recorded in the medical notes and he told Ms McEneaney of her malignant cancer over hte  telphone rather than face to face.

In a statement outside the High Court today, Sinead McEneraney on behalf of the family said they welcomed the ruling of the settlement and the apology.

"Sharon was a beloved daughter, sister and friend. She is sorely missed by her family and a wide circle of friends," she said.

"We would like to thank a number of people for their support."

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