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HSE Launches Spinal Surgery Review

An external independent review has been commissioned by the HSE into paediatric care of the Children’s Health Ireland (CHI) at Temple Street, Dublin after one child died and others suffered serious post-surgery complications following spinal surgery.  The HSE said in a statement: “These patients and their families already face enormous challenges due to their condition and CHI deeply regret failings in the care provided to them”. Media reports indicate that CHI has recently met with each of these families to explain the process to them and, if appropriate, to outline to them any issues that were identified relating to the care that their child received. 

The independent external review will be carried out by UK expert, Mr. Selvadurai Nayagam, Consultant in Orthopaedics and Trauma and Head of the Limb Reconstruction Unit at Royal Liverpool University and Royal Liverpool Children’s Hospital.  It is envisaged that the review will consider both internal and external reports previously commissioned by CHI and carry out a risk assessment of the relevant areas of orthopaedic surgery in CHI at Temple Street before the end of 2023.  Dr. Allan Goldman, Chief Medical Officer of CHI said that the group “deeply regrets the impact that the issues identified have had on patients and their families and that CHI staff are committed and motivated to provide safe, effective, patient centred and efficient care to spina bifida patients to improve clinical outcomes”.

Ronan Hynes, Patient Safety Advocate and Partner in the Clinical Negligence unit at MHP Sellors LLP commented on the launch of the HSE review that:

“These patient safety concerns need to be comprehensively investigated by the independent UK expert and any recommendations implemented as soon as ever possible from a continuous improvement and learning point of view. It is important to emphasise that the primary focus of the review will be on the clinical care provided by an individual consultant, who is currently no longer conducting surgeries and in respect of whom a referral has been made to the Irish Medical Council.  A new clinical lead team in CHI has been appointed for each of these patients and their families who will take over their care and their future medical treatment. It is vitally important that these patients and their families receive compassionate engagement from CHI together with all the practical supports they may need and, most importantly, appropriate, and timely medical treatment.”

For more details on the implications of these findings or if you or a loved one have been affected, please contact Ronan Hynes, Patient Safety Advocate and Head of our Clinical Negligence Team at [email protected] or on 061 414355.  

Published On: September 19, 2023

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