Wednesday 19 December 2018

Hospital repeats apology for 'gross deficits' at birth of Katie

Parents Raymond and Aoife Manton leaving the High Court in Dublin. Photo: Courtpix
Parents Raymond and Aoife Manton leaving the High Court in Dublin. Photo: Courtpix

Tim Healy

A hospital has apologised in the High Court for a second time to the family of a nine-year-old girl with cerebral palsy for "gross deficits" in care provided at the time of her birth.

In its apology, the hospital acknowledged the suffering Katie Manton "has and will endure for the rest of her life" and also apologised to her parents without reservation.

Over two years ago, the child settled for €6.7m her action against the HSE over the circumstances of her birth at South Tipperary General Hospital on September 17, 2008.

Her mother Aoife Manton settled her action against the HSE over the management of her daughter's birth. The terms are confidential.

Katie Manton (9), from Cashel, suffers from cerebral palsy
Katie Manton (9), from Cashel, suffers from cerebral palsy

Outside court, Ms Manton and her husband Ray Manton said they would never forgive the HSE for what happened.

"They apologised, but it is only words. At 3am in the morning when Katie is having a seizure, what am I meant to do with that apology?" Ms Manton said.

She said they were extremely angry at what happened and the catastrophic injury suffered by Katie.

The family also called on the HSE to publish in detail its protocols, recruitment policies and the steps it has taken to ensure this never happens again.

They said they wanted these measures "to give confidence to other expectant mothers".

In court earlier, the latest apology was read by HSE counsel Patrick Hanratty SC on behalf of South Tipperary General.

"We wish to apologise without reservation, not just for the gross deficits in the care provided by this hospital in the treatment of Aoife Manton and in the delivery of her daughter Katie," it said, but also for other matters including "the deficits in our recruitment policy".

It also apologised for the "failure of this hospital to follow the protocol requiring references from two consultants, obtaining a reference from only one consultant concerning the professional capacity of the obstetric registrar who treated Ms Manton", and also for "a mistake made in communicating the full name of the obstetric registrar who delivered Katie".

"We acknowledge the suffering that Katie has and will endure for the rest of her life. We have already apologised for that in her proceedings and we repeat the apology now.

"The pain, distress and ongoing anger that both Aoife and Ray Manton are enduring is understood by the hospital. We apologise to both of them without reservation."

Liam Reidy SC, for the Mantons, said Ms Manton's case could now be struck out.

Ms Manton, George's Land, Dualla Road, Cashel, Co Tipperary, had sued the HSE as a result of the alleged inadequate and management of her obstructed labour and alleged excessive delay in delivering Katie, who suffered a lack of oxygen to the brain. It was claimed there was failure to deliver by caesarean section or otherwise the baby in a timely manner and an alleged failure to properly diagnose the CTG readings.

The claims were denied.

Irish Independent

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