Saturday 25 November 2017

Families call for extensive inquiry into Portlaoise Hospital baby deaths

Eilish O'Regan, Health Correspondent

FAMILIES whose babies died from lack of oxygen in Portlaoise Hospital have called for wide ranging inquiry which will extend to the “highest reaches of the Health Service Executive”

Roisin and Mark Molloy, Kicavan , Co Offaly took their battle for a wide ranging independent inquiry to the Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children in Leinster House.

The parents of four boys, whose son Mark died in  2012, said they want the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) to examine the deaths and  find out why recommendations of various reports were not followed up.

Four babies died in similar circumstances in Portlaoise over six years  after foetal distress was not properly recognised or acted on while the mothers were in labour.

The mothers also received the drug syntocinon which speeded up labour and added to the foetal distress.

The Molloys made their cases to the Oireachtas committee today in private.Earlier Health Minister James Reilly  wrote to the committee and said he had “grave concerns”  about a number of areas surrounding the deaths of  the babies between 2006 and 2012.

He said HIQA will examine the governance of the hospital and he is awaiting a preliminary report from his chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan.

However, an examination of the governance alone, which would cover the management and safety, is not likely to go far enough for the families.

The Minister said there is real value in allowing Dr Holohan to complete his report in advance of HIQA becoming involved.

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