TD Sean Fleming has said that there must be an independent enquiry carried out by the Health Information Quality Authority to investigate the HSE’s handling and subsequent covering up of the deaths of four babies in Portlaoise Maternity Unit.
In a statement released by Mr Fleming, he said that the HSE themselves cannot be trusted to investigate the matter.
“This denial of the truth and the determination of the HSE to conceal this matter and not to contact the families involved proves the most senior people in the HSE who reviewed and covered up these matters are not fit to be in their jobs,” he said.
According to Mr Fleming, Portlaoise Maternity Unit has one of the highest standards of care not only in Ireland, but in the world, and that it had suffered in recent times from a reduction in staff.
“The staff are under extreme pressure due to the increasing number of births in the hospital in recent years.
“The HSE should immediately allocate additional staff to the unit, as the embargo does not prevent additional nurses being hired.
“Everybody who goes into the hospital praises the excellent care and attention they receive, and the staff in the unit need to be supported,” he said.
Mr Fleming believes that an independent investigation needs to be carried out to give confidence to expectant mothers who are going in to have their babies in Portlaoise Maternity Unit.
“The people involved in the cover-up should be asked to step aside while the Health Information Quality Authority carry out an independent investigation,” he said.