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Doctor’s concerns over patient safety ‘being addressed’

The Health Service Executive has said it is “seriously 
addressing” patient and safety concerns raised by a top Beaumont Hospital doctor who resigned as clinical director.

Professor Shane O’Neill resigned from the senior post at the Dublin hospital due to his safety concerns - but will remain as a consultant.

He had previously stated that assessing psychiatric patients in the hospital’s emergency department was “entirely unsafe and indefensible”.

However, at a monthly HSE Forum yesterday, held for all hospitals in the Leinster area, the state agency said that while it could not discuss a private individual, it was “seriously addressing” the issues he raised.

It is believed that the new psychiatric unit being opened in Beaumont next Tuesday may be used for assessing emergency psychiatric patients.

Ten politicians and nine hospital and HSE officials attended yesterday’s forum, and councillor Christy Burke stood and spoke of his “deep regret” at the consultant’s resignation.

“He is top of the range in terms of consultants, he’s gold-plate,” said Mr Burke.

talent

Mr Burke also said Prof O’Neill was a “highly regarded doctor and to lose his talent will be a major loss to the HSE”.

Prof O’Neill stepped down as the hospital’s clinical director because he could not stand over “significant clinical risks”.

It is understood that he had brought his proposal to the attention of senior hospital executives when the new unit, the Ashlin Centre, was nearing completion.

It included the suggestion that it be used as a place to assess psychiatric patients who come through A&E.

Beaumont Hospital told

However, Prof O’Neill called the plans “entirely inappropriate”.

hnews@herald.ie


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