Sunday 17 December 2017

Family wants all hospital reviews to be made public

A father who lost two baby girls at Portiuncula hospital has urged officials to publish any and all reviews into maternity services throughout the country.

Warren Reilly hit out at the current impasse between the HSE and HIQA regarding the Portlaoise hospital report.

He said it was "absolutely shameful" that there could be questions over its publication.

Warren and Lorraine Reilly lost their daughters Asha and Amber at Portiuncula hospital in Galway in 2008 and 2010.

After highlighting the cases, the death of their daughter Amber, who died a week after being born in the hospital in February 2010, was later added to a review of perinatal care being provided to seven other women at Portiuncula Hospital.

The Saolta Hospital Group is continuing to liaise with a number of other families who may also be added to the review.


Mr Reilly said he is eager for the review to now begin but stressed its findings must be made public.

"When I listen to what has happened with Portlaoise it makes me think they forget there are actual families involved in these cases. They are treating it as if it's a storehouse issue, it's people's lives, children died," he said.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has also called for the Portlaoise report to be published. He said two organisations using public money should not resort to the courts.

Mr Reilly said his largest concern was that the planned review of Portiuncula might meet similar challenges as those facing Portlaoise.

"There is no point putting anything in the report if it is not in the public forum. We need lessons to be learned and the best way for that to happen is to have it all out in the open.

"With these reports the findings must be published and the recommendations must be published. Publishing the recommendations without the findings that led to them makes no sense," he added.

Mr Reilly pointed to a report carried out on the death of his daughter Amber which was only provided to the family earlier this year, more than three years after it was completed.

The incident review report highlighted serious failings in the management of her mother's labour and made 12 recommendations.


The case and subsequent review predated concerns about treatment of seven other births at the hospital in 2014. A further six families later came forward and the HSE is liaising with them.

"In the years after Amber's death there were several similar cases to ours, we feel this wouldn't have happened if the recommendations had been put in place and often they are quickly put in place because the reports have been made public.

"It is important everything is out in the open. We're finally making gradual progress to where we need to be, as frustratingly slow as it is," he added.

A spokesperson for the Saolta Hospital Group said the reviews will be conducted in line with the HSE Open Disclosure policy. Families affected will be consulted fully and the findings of any reviews will be made available to the families.


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