Saturday 14 December 2019

Changes in HSE will be baby Mark's legacy, say his parents

Roisin and Mark Molloy from Castlebrack, Killeigh, Co. Offaly pictured speaking to the media outside the Four Courts yesterday (Wed) after a settlement in their High Court action for damages. Picture: Collins Courts
Roisin and Mark Molloy from Castlebrack, Killeigh, Co. Offaly pictured speaking to the media outside the Four Courts yesterday (Wed) after a settlement in their High Court action for damages. Picture: Collins Courts
Roisin and Mark Molloy from Castlebrack, Killeigh, Co. Offaly pictured outside the Four Courts yesterday (Wed) after a settlement in their High Court action for damages. Picture: Collins Courts

Tim Healy

THE family of a baby who died following his birth at Midland Regional Hospital - but who was recorded as a stillbirth - say he will be remembered as a 'catalyst' for change in the health service.

Parents Mark and Roisin Molloy sued for emotional suffering and distress as a result of the death of baby Mark two years ago. The High Court yesterday heard the case had been settled.

Outside court, the Molloys, who have four sons, said they had been brought out through the hospital back door after their son died but he would now be remembered as the baby who had triggered change in the health service.

Mark's death, and the deaths of three other babies at the Midland Regional Hospital, led to a 'Prime Time' programme and an investigation by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) into the safety, quality and standards of maternity service at the Portlaoise hospital.

A report earlier this year by chief medical officer Tony Holohan into the deaths of four babies at the hospital between 2006 and 2012 found the maternity unit was unsafe.

He also found that babies and their families were treated in a poor - and, at times, appalling - manner, with limited respect, kindness, courtesy and consideration.

In the High Court yesterday, Mr Justice Kevin Cross approved the settlement, the details of which are confidential.

The family yesterday said his legacy, and that of other babies who died, would be if a new system requiring legal duty of open disclosure for all health care professionals is introduced.

"They utterly failed in their duty to Mark, and to us as parents," said Mark Molloy senior.

He said Government ministers had given a commitment to start the process of the introduction of legal duty of open disclosure for all health care professionals in the country.

"Judging from what we have learned over the last three years, and our experience in communication with the HSE, this has got to be the only way forward.

"And I would call on (Health) Minister Leo Varadkar and (Justice) Minister Frances Fitzgerald to continue that work immediately."

Roisin and Mark Molloy of Castlebrack, Killeigh, Co Offaly, had sued the HSE as a result of the death of Mark after he was born alive on January 24, 2012.

He was delivered by Caesarean section at 9.31am on January 24 2012, weighing 3.89kg but he was in a poor condition.

He was born alive and suffered a neonatal death but the HSE, the Molloys claimed, recorded the death as a stillbirth in the health care record.

There was, it was alleged, a failure to ensure baby Mark was born earlier and by 7.30am at the latest.

The Molloys claimed Mark's death was caused by negligence and breach of duty aggravated by the conduct of the HSE in relation to the recorded status of the baby's death and the manner in which the Molloys' enquiries and complaints were dealt with.

Irish Independent

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