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Thursday 23 November 2017

X-ray blunder hospital misses deadline

Eilish O'Regan Health Correspondent

THE hospital at the centre of the scandal involving nearly 58,000 unchecked X-rays has failed to meet a three-month deadline to set up a new board of management.

Tallaght Hospital in Dublin revealed in early March that radiologists did not read the X-rays of up to 58,000 patients.

One had died and another suffered a delayed cancer diagnosis.

It later emerged that 3,500 letters from GPs seeking appointments for their patients to see a specialist at the hospital were left unread -- for seven years in some cases.

A report commissioned by the hospital said it was riven by mistrust at all levels -- and it was highly critical of the hospital board for failing to delegate real power and accountability.

A key recommendation was the setting up of a 10-member management board which would bring in new expertise.

This would wrest much of the power away from the 22-member hospital board.

However, while it said this should be done in three months, the Irish Independent has learned it has still not been set up.

Expertise

A slimmed-down board was proposed to give the troubled the hospital much needed business and financial expertise.

Another key measure was to be the appointment of a director of quality and risk to prevent more serious blunders happening again. However, the post has yet to be filled.

A spokesman for the hospital insisted significant changes have been implemented in the hospital since the X-ray disclosures, including a fundamental overhaul of management structures.

"Further changes are continuing," he said.

The hospital chief executive, Professor Kevin Conlon, is "holding this role at present".

A review of the X-rays found no more cases of missed diagnosis.

An inquiry into the circumstances behind the X-ray scandal, chaired by former Northern Ireland Ombudsman Maurice Hayes, is due to be completed later this summer.

Irish Independent

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