HSE has report on possible disciplinary action over Portlaoise maternity unit

A report into whether health service staff have will be held to account over the deaths of babies at the Midland Regional Hospital, Portlaoise is complete but the HSE will not reveal its contents.

According to the Irish Times, the HSE said it could not comment on whether the report has found any employee should face disciplinary action arising from problems at the maternity unit up to 2014.

The HSE is quoted as saying: “While the report is complete, it remains in-process. Consequently, the HSE cannot make any further comment at this stage.”

The HSE investigation began in July in 2015. It was due to be completed within three months but is understood the investigation has only been finalised recently.

Three former NHS managers from the UK were appointed to assess if any HSE staff had a clinical or managerial case to answer. Obstetrician Jim Dornan from Northern Ireland and barrister Paul Brady were also said to be part of the process. 

This review group was asked to investigate if any staff should be disciplined or if there was serious misconduct.

A HIQA report carried out in 2015 was highly critical of the HSE in the problems in the maternity unit and other parts of the hospital. The HSE tried to block the publication of that report.

Following the HIQA report a number case by case investigations were carried out into numerous complaints made about the maternity unit. 

The Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital assumed management of the maternity unit. Births have begun to increase again since then.

The Dublin Midlands Hospital Group has drawn up a plan to remove maternity, paediatrics, ICU, most surgery and A&E from the hospital.

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