HSE to apologise to families over handling of maternity cases, including some in Kerry

The Health Service Executive should apologise to 14 families over the handling of their births, including eight in which a baby died, according to a newly-published review.

One or a number of the complaints looked at by the Maternity Clinical Complaints Review relates to cases at University Hospital Kerry or Kerry General Hospital as it was known at the time as well as Cork University Maternity Hospital.

Two hundred and three patient complaints were received by the review, of these, one hundred and fifty-three patients consented to participate in the review process.

One hundred and thirty complaints related to maternity services in the Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise and 23 complaints related to services in 8 other hospitals, including Cork University Maternity Hospital and Kerry General Hospital.

Of these complaints, 18 progressed to Phase II of the review which involved meetings with the families of those affected.

Of these 18 complaints, six related to perinatal deaths, five to the management of labour, four to the care of the mother, two to communications and one to infant care.
The Review, chaired by former National Maternity Hospital master Dr Peter Boylan, looked cases that spanned 40 years and most related to Portlaoise.

The incidents found during the review were previously unknown and unreported.

Of the cases where apologies are to be issued, nine were for care that was not consistent with best clinical practice, and three of these involved a perinatal death.

One case related to cerebral palsy, three to poor communications and two to lost or delayed healthcare records.

The review makes a host of recommendations for impartments in maternity hospitals across the state.