Monday 10 December 2018

HSE 'threat to block report' into hospital where five babies died

Portlaoise Hospital
Portlaoise Hospital Newsdesk Newsdesk

A report into a hospital where five babies dies in controversial circumstances has provoked a heated row between the HSE and the independent health regulator.

The report, compiled by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), is highly critical.

Today's 'Irish Times' newspaper reports that the HSE has threatened to take legal action to prevent publication of the report.

An advanced draft of the report places some of the shortcomings at the Midlands Regional Hospital at the hands of senior management in the HSE.

Read more here: 'We thought they would learn from our loss but they didn't' - Couple who lost two babies in two years seek Varadkar meeting 

Portlaoise hospital is ranked as Level 3 hospital - a general, regional hospital. However, the report states that funding puts it as a Level 2 hospital, a local hospital.

Level 3 hospitals operate around the clock, while Level 2 hospitals normally provide services between 8am and 8pm.

Read more here: Pregnant woman mistakenly told unborn baby dead 

The report by HIQA was ordered a year ago by the then Health Minister James Reilly after his chief medical officer, Dr Tony Holohan, investigated a series of deaths of baby deaths at the maternity hospital and declared it was unsafe.

It's understood HIQA highlights problems in the maternity unit, the emergency department and in other areas, the 'Irish Times' reports.

Read more here: 'There is no Santa at our house - but we have closure' 

HIQA's six person team completed their investigation and report some time ago, but publication of the final report has been delayed due to legal issues relating to due process which are underway.

It's understood the threat to injunct the report was brought up at a meeting between HSE staff and Department of Health officials last Thursday. The HSE said it was one of a number of options it was considering.

Read more here: Our little girl's death 'should be a game-changer', reveal heartbroken parents

Read more here: Grieving mum: 'If I'd known about hospital I'd never have gone there' 

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