Monday 19 March 2018

'They knew children could die, that lives could be ruined, but they did nothing'

Róisín and Mark Molloy, parents of baby Mark
Róisín and Mark Molloy, parents of baby Mark
Sharon McCarthy speaking on RTÉ’s ‘Prime Time'
Shauna Keyes
Amy Delahunt and Ollie Kelly, parents of Mary Kate
Natasha Molyneaux receives a hug from former Health Minister James Reilly
Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

Bereaved families of babies who died at Portlaoise Hospital have said anyone named in the Hiqa report should "seriously consider their position".

Róisín Molloy, whose son Mark died shortly after his birth at the hospital in 2012, called for a raft of resignations - including that of HSE director general Tony O'Brien.

"I think he should be one of many to resign," she said.

"We need a complete clear-out and a properly running and functioning HSE."

Mrs Molloy said the Hiqa report demonstrated that senior HSE officials knew maternity services at Portlaoise were unsafe, but recklessly allowed the situation to continue.

"They knew children could die, that lives could be ruined, but they did nothing about it," she said.

Mrs Molloy welcomed the Hiqa report, but said she was not confident its key findings would be implemented by HSE management.

"We have faith in the report itself, but we have no faith in the HSE senior management team to implement these recommendations," she said.

"How can we have faith in people to implement recommendations which highlight their failure to do their job?"

Mrs Molloy and her husband Mark settled a legal action against the HSE for emotional suffering and distress last year.

Their son Mark died shortly after his birth, but his death was incorrectly recorded as a stillbirth.

The Molloys claimed his death was caused by negligence and breach of duty.

They claimed matters were aggravated by the conduct of the HSE in relation to the recorded status of the boy's death and the manner in which their enquiries and complaints were dealt with afterwards.

Meanwhile, Ollie Kelly and Amy Delahunt, whose baby Mary Kate died in May 2013, said that anyone named in the report had "blood on their hands".

"It's a pity the HSE haven't fought as hard in the last few years for patient safety rather than to stop the truth coming out," said Ollie.

He described the report as "damning", but said it was no good talking about "system failures" when it was people and not systems that fail.

"Personally, I feel that anyone named in the report has blood on their hands and should seriously consider their position," said Amy.

However, Shauna Keyes, whose son Joshua died in Portlaoise, said that she had forgiven the hospital staff for what happened and that it was "pointless" to ask for resignations.

Having since given birth at the hospital, she said they were "trying to fix things" and she found attitudes of staff are "very different".

Irish Independent

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