The Health Service Executive (HSE) has come in for major criticism in a new report published on Portlaoise Hospital.
The report, part of an investigation carried out by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) revealed that managers at all levels in the HSE were aware that there were patient safety risks at the hospital but failed to act on them.
The report was commissioned following the deaths of five babies in the maternity unit of the hospital.
Describing the HIQA report as a “seminal moment” in the history of Ireland’s health service, the organisation’s chief executive Phelim Quinn criticised members of the HSE for not taking previous recommendations on board at the hospital.
“It is notable that local and national HSE inquiries and clinical reviews into patient safety incidents and significant failures in Portlaoise Hospital were also carried out. Had the findings and recommendations of these inquiries and reviews been attended to, the risks to patient safety and service quality could have been substantially reduced,” said Mr Quinn.
In the 200-page report, HIQA also criticised the Government for failing to provide necessary funding for much-needed services in the hospital.
HIQA recommended that an independent patient safety service should be established at the hospital within a year, to ensure the tragic experiences that have occurred are learned from.