Portiuncula Hospital review finds "serious errors" in several cases

A report says mistakes would have probably made a difference to the outcome

Portiuncula Hospital review finds "serious errors" in several cases

Portiuncula Hospital | Image: saolta.ie

A review of maternity care at Portiuncula Hospital in Co Galway has found "serious errors" in a number of cases.

It has also criticised standards in training and management.

The inquiry looked at 18 births - including six cases where the babies died.

The report says: "This was a complex review process that involved investigators external to the Saolta Group undertaking a full systems analysis of each of the 18 cases.

"These individual system analyses reports were provided to the families in April 2017 and many families met Professor Walker at that time.

"Professor Walker and the Clinical Review Team undertook a full clinical review of the maternity service at PUH in addition to reviewing the care provided in each of the 18 cases involved."

It found that of the 18 cases reviewed, "serious errors" in management occurred in 10 cases that "would have probably made a difference to the outcome for those babies."

While six involved cases where the baby had died.

In four of these cases, "significant failings" were found in the care provided to those babies.

The team also identified contributory factors and/or incidental findings in each of the 18 cases reviewed.

The Ballinasloe hospital says it has implemented a significant number of measures to improve patient safety since the review started in 2015.

Dr Pat Nash is group chief clinical director with Saolta University Health Care Group.

"We have provided each of the families involved in the review with a copy of this report and earlier today Saolta and PUH management, together with Professor Walker met with the families involved.

"On behalf of the Saolta Group, I have again offered the families involved our deepest apologies for the distress and suffering they have endured.

"We know that this has been a deeply traumatic process for them which has been compounded by the length of time this complex review process took to complete."

"We recognise the profound impact that these events have had on the families involved and we thank them for their willingness to engage with the review process."