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HSE won't say if staff will be disciplined in Savita case

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THE Health Service Executive (HSE) has declined to say if any of its staff have been disciplined or will face any disciplinary proceedings arising out of the care of Savita Halappanavar.

Savita's inquest was told of a variety of system failures at University College Hospital Galway, which included failure to follow up on tests, poor communication and failure to properly monitor the patient's vital signs. A spokeswoman for the HSE told the Irish Independent that the hospital would be making "no further comment" following its statement on Friday.

The statement acknowledged there were lapses in the standard of care given to Savita, who died from the complications of septic shock.

But the spokeswoman referred to two other reviews into the death of Savita, which are ongoing.

These include the HSE-commissioned clinical review and also the investigation by the Health Information and Quality Authority.

Meanwhile, the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (An Bord Altranais) – the regulatory body for nurses – confirmed that it would take the recommendations of the jury at Savita's inquest into account when it conducted a consultation on an updated code of conduct next autumn.

The jury recommended that the Medical Council, the regulatory body for doctors, lays out exactly when a medic can intervene to save the life of the mother to remove doubt and reassure the public.

The jury added: "An Bord Altranais should have similar directives for midwives so that the two professions always complement each other."

Yesterday, An Bord Altranais said it would like to offer its sincere sympathy and condolences to Praveen Halappanavar and the rest of Savita's family.

It said that as the statutory body responsible for the regulation of nursing and midwifery in Ireland, its main objective was the protection of the public by ensuring the highest of standards.

"Each registered nurse and midwife is directed and supported by the Code of Professional Conduct for each Nurse and Midwife (April 2000).

"This code is currently under review.

"As part of the review, there will be a national consultation process undertaken in autumn 2013.

"We await a copy of the Coroner's report (as requested from his office this morning)," said a spokeswoman.

Mr Halappanavar's solicitor Gerard O'Donnell will meet with the chairman of the clinical review inquiry team to make a submission.

The team has received a transcript of the proceedings of the inquest and their report has yet to be finalised.

Irish Independent