Monday 19 March 2018

Second mother robbed at maternity hospital in recent weeks

Catherine Carmody, with baby Max, was robbed when she was at the University Maternity Hospital, Limerick
Catherine Carmody, with baby Max, was robbed when she was at the University Maternity Hospital, Limerick

A SECOND mother has been robbed while in labour at one of the country's busiest maternity hospitals.

Catherine Carmody from Patrickswell in Co Limerick claims she went into shock and her labour was delayed after she discovered her wallet was stolen while she was walking the corridors of the hospital to help speed up the delivery.

Ms Carmody is the second woman to go public after having property stolen at the University Maternity Hospital, Limerick in recent weeks.

The Co Limerick woman had a purse with €46 stolen on August 15th while Jill Leonard, an American woman living in Ennis, Co Clare, was robbed on August 24th following the birth of her son Kane.

Me Leonard had a smartphone and wallet stolen while she was giving birth to her son.

Both matters have been referred to the gardai.

In an interview with the ‘Limerick Leader’ newspaper, Ms Carmody claimed she was so shocked after discovering her wallet had been stolen her labour stopped and he son wasn't born for two more days.

“I was in labour,  and was told to go for a walk to help speed things up. But when I returned my purse had been stolen and they had gone through all my personal things.

Ms Carmody's wallet was subsequently found in the toilet but he cash had been taken.

"The doctor told me and I went into shock. The labour stopped and I did not have Max until Saturday – and this happened on the Thursday,” she explained.

"I was told that this is an ongoing problem at the hospital. I spoke to the gardai but I have heard nothing back and it appears that nothing is being done about this problem,” she added. “We should have been warned in advance.”

According to a spokesman for the HSE there have been two reported cases of theft at the maternity hospital in the past three months, and added "while these are two robberies too many they don't constitute an ongoing problem".

“There are warning signs in place throughout the hospital but we are reviewing them currently with a view to providing more.

“Ms Carmody’s purse was subsequently found with all cards etc still in place but the €46 was missing.”

“People are advised not to bring valuables into the hospital or to send them home and the giving of this advice is being addressed currently at all staff meetings to ensure that it’s happening.It is most regrettable that Ms Carmody was not advised in this manner.

“No comment can be offered on the clinical issue raised as it would constitute a breach of patient confidentiality," he added.

Formerly known as the Mid Western Regional Maternity Hospital, the University Maternity Hospital in Limerick is the principal public maternity hospital for the mid west region.

One of the busiest maternity hospitals in the country an average of 5,000 babies are born at the hospital each year.

By Kathryn Hayes

Irish Independent

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