Kerry solicitor urges HSE to meet patients affected by delayed diagnoses scandal

A Killarney solicitor is calling on the HSE to immediately meet with patients affected by the delayed diagnoses scandal at University Hospital Kerry.

Yesterday, the HSE and the South/South West Hospital Group apologised to patients and families harmed by the failures at the hospital as it published a report on the controversy.

Padraig O’Connell says his clients and others have been treated appallingly with a lack of information and are now facing legal procedures.

Mr O’Connell says it is a total tragedy and travesty what has happened and they are urging the HSE to meet with patients with a view to speeding up the process:

The HSE says four patients have died following delayed diagnoses; in total eleven patients were impacted and have suffered a serious impact on their health.

A locum radiologist, who was suspended, is no longer working at University Hospital Kerry and the medical council is investigating.

Sinn Fein Cllr Toireasa Ferris says she is aware of a twelfth case involving a fifth death due to the scandal and wants people held accountable.

She says no action has yet been taken on national guidelines on what is the safe level of workload for radiologists:

Chair of the Safety incident management team at UHK Dr Gerard O’Callaghan says measures have been put in place in the hospital to prevent a repeat of the scandal.

This includes that radiologists are not overworked.

Dr O’Callaghan says lessons around communication need to be learned but any patient who needed to be spoken to was contacted immediately.

Dr O’Callaghan says every effort is being made to fill vacant consultant positions in UHK:

Meanwhile, Kerry councillors called for the resignation of Dr Gerard O’Callaghan and the management team at UHK at a meeting this morning in Cork.

The meeting was attended by Cllrs John Francis Flynn, Damian Quigg, Brendan Cronin, John Joe Culloty and Bobby O’Connell.

For anyone affected by the scandal there is a HSE helpline, which is operating until 5 this evening on 1800 742 900.