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Wednesday 17 January 2018

Doctor in baby death probe 'vindicated' after HSE report is quashed

Dr Salah Aziz
Dr Salah Aziz
Francis Flynn and Fiona Watters, the parents of baby Jamie. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Ray Managh

A DOCTOR at the centre of a probe into the death of a baby boy following child birth at Cavan General Hospital has been "completely vindicated in his assertion that fair procedures had not been followed by the health services," the High Court was told.

Dr Salah Abdel-Aziz Ahmed was yesterday granted a High Court order permanently restraining the Health Services Executive (HSE) from publishing a report on an investigation "into the incident" at the hospital in November 2012.

It also quashed the report, its findings and recommendations.

The court had heard that a copy of the report into Jamie Flynn's tragic death had already been given to his parents, Fiona Watters and Francis Flynn, of Navan, Co Meath. Jamie died two days after his birth.

Jamie's death was one of three deaths - termed "adverse incidents" - relating to childbirth at the hospital over a two-year period. Two of the deaths occurred in April of this year.

Although not conceding liability, the HSE yesterday told the court it had agreed, following talks, that the report should be quashed.

The HSE had agreed to direct a new inquiry by a different legal team and had undertaken to pay all of Dr Aziz's costs.

Simon Mills, counsel for Dr Aziz, told Mr Justice Kevin Cross that his client was delighted his position had been vindicated completely and did not now intend to proceed any further with legal proceedings relating to the report.

Dr Aziz, a consultant obstetrician at Cavan General Hospital, had been granted an order early last month temporarily restraining publication or further dissemination of the report by the HSE.

An inquest into the child's death had heard allegations that Dr Aziz had delayed an emergency caesarean section due to the unavailability of nursing staff to man the operating theatre at the time.

Jamie was born shortly before midnight on November 22, 2012, and transferred to the Rotunda Hospital, Dublin, where he died two days later.

On August 9, last the HSE had announced that the final report, carried out by a team from the National Maternity Hospital, Dublin, had been received and passed on to the family.

The investigation had been ordered to establish facts leading up to the birth while identifying any key causal factors that may have contributed to the loss of life.

Dr Aziz Ahmed secured the interim injunction which restrained further publication of the report until the matter could go before the courts. Prior to the injunction the former Health Minister, Dr James Reilly, had instructed the HIQA to undertake a review of maternity services at Cavan General Hospital.

Irish Independent

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