Tuesday 28 February 2017

HSE acts on patient risk at last - but the real test of safety is yet to come

Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

HSE chief Tony O’Brien
HSE chief Tony O’Brien

The decision by the HSE to stop Portlaoise Hospital doing complex surgery and effectively downgrade its A&E is a signal that it is eventually listening to the patient safety watchdog, Hiqa.

Among the scathing criticisms of the HSE in last month's Hiqa report on Portlaoise Hospital, where five babies died, was that it ignored warning bells and recommendations over many years to protect patients.

Now, at last, it is taking action - but it clearly has no other choice.

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