Thursday 13 December 2018

Grieving families face new delay in Portiuncula report

Families whose babies either died or were affected by maternity practices at the hospital had been awaiting individual reports on their care
Families whose babies either died or were affected by maternity practices at the hospital had been awaiting individual reports on their care

Caroline Crawford

A report into the Portiuncula maternity review, which was due to be provided to families this week, has been delayed yet again.

Families whose babies either died or were affected by maternity practices at the hospital had been awaiting individual reports on their care. Early last month they were informed that the reports, which have been repeatedly delayed, would be provided in the week before Christmas.

While families raised concerns about the timing and labelled the move "insensitive", they received no notice from the review team that the reports would be delayed until the new year.

After an anxious wait, the families only received word yesterday evening that the report had once again been delayed. They have been given no new timeline for the completion of the report.

A letter from the head of the review team, Prof James Walker, informed them that the review was now considering all responses from people named in the addendum to the report and in minutes of meetings, adding that a "significant volume of responses" had been received.

"I appreciate that you may not have expected this part of the process to be continuing still, and I have no doubt that this is frustrating. However, in the interests of fair procedures it is essential that we allow all of those persons affected by the report or its findings an appropriate amount of time to consider the documents and to provide us with their response," the letter continued.

It added that while the time that it has taken to produce the final overall report "does seem to be lengthy, it is necessary that these last steps are properly carried out".

Warren Reilly, who is awaiting a report into the death of his two daughters, Amber and Asha, criticised the fresh delay pointing out that it is almost three years since the review was first mooted.

Irish Independent

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