In an initial response to the report into the deaths of a number of babies at Portlaoise maternity unit, Fianna Fáil Health spokesperson Billy Kelleher has said the findings are “shocking and very disturbing.”
Deputy Kelleher said: “To read that families and patients were treated in a poor and, at times, appalling manner with limited respect, kindness, courtesy and consideration is truly awful.
“It is clear that the families were treated scandalously and that there was simply no justification for the withholding of information from them.
“The Chief Medical Officer’s conclusion that maternity services cannot be regarded as safe and sustainable must be acted upon urgently. Mothers, babies and families are entitled to expect safe care at Portlaoise and the HSE must move swiftly to provide this.
“The appointment of an interim management team welcome but it should be done along a complete staffing review. I believe we need to see extra consultants and midwives being brought on board. Every effort is required now to ensure the safety culture is improved and that there is an appropriate medium and long-term corporate governance structure.
“I believe that a conclusion of the report says “poor outcomes that could likely have been prevented were identified and known by the hospital but not adequately acted upon” is very worrying and requires further investigation.”
Deputy Kelleher added: “I want to commend the Chief Medical Officer for the urgency he has brought to completing this report.”