Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health Billy Kelleher has said there should be a full, independent investigation into the death of babies at the Midland Regional Hospital, Portlaoise, under the auspicious of the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA). Deputy Kelleher has also said he is extremely shocked by the lack of engagement with mothers.
Deputy Kelleher commented: “The immediate priority today should be the need for assurances on maternity staffing levels at Portlaoise. Expectant mothers need to have confidence that the hospital is a safe environment for them and their babies. I want to extend my deepest sympathies to the families involved.
“I welcome the unequivocal apology given by the HSE to the families and I believe there should be an independent investigation into all these incidents under the auspicious of HIQA set up as a matter of urgency. I would also urge Minister Reilly to seek international expertise in the inquiry. We need to see trust and confidence restored in the maternity services. I was particularly shocked to learn that an investigation was being carried out into the death of a baby and the family themselves were never made aware of this. That is nothing short of a disgrace.
“It is essential that any recommendations arising out of the investigation into these tragic deaths are cross-referenced across all maternity services. Lessons must be learned from what happened on Portlaoise and they must be applied to maternity services across the country.”