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Thursday 14 December 2017

HIQA appoints four foreign experts to Savita probe

Eilish O’Regan Health Correspondent

FOUR of the six members of the investigation team, appointed by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) to investigate the death of Savita Halappanavar, are from outside the Republic.

The team, announced today includes Dr Paul Fogarty, an obstetrician from Ulster Hospital in Belfast and Denise Boulter, a midwife consultant in the North’s Public Health Agency.

The team also includes Dr Nuala Lucas, an anaesthetist in Northwick Park Hospital in Harrow in the UK and Dr Bharat Patel, a microbiologist at the Health Protection Agency also in the UK.

The other experts are Dr Robert Cunney, a microbiologist at the Health Protection Surveillance Centre in Dublin and Lorreta Evans, a patient safety champion, whose son died in a Dublin hospital in 2005. An inquiry resulted in a new handover policy between doctors changing shifts.

Ms Halappanavar (31),, who was 17 weeks’ pregnant, died of septicaemia at University Hospital Galway following a miscarriage on October 28.

The HIQA investigation will include an examination of the standards of care for all critically ill patients in Galway Hospital.It will also include an examination of the diagnosis and management of patients with sepsis in the hospital.

A separate Health Service Executive (HSE) clinical inquiry is also under way.

The team heading the clinical inquiry, who were appointed by the HSE, has already interviewed hospital staff and examined medical records and other documentation.

Savita’s husband Praveen has said he will not co-operate with either of the probes and is to go to the European Court of Human Rights in his bid to secure a public sworn inquiry.

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