Saolta Hospital Group

 Press Statement: 25th November 2015

Saolta Hospital Group have now confirmed that they are to hold an Internal Review into the circumstances surrounding the care of the late Aibhe Conroy who died in Temple St. Children’s Hospital a few days after her transfer there from the Regional Hospital Galway in December 2011.

Councillor Catherine Connolly and member of the Regional Health Forum said the HSE West/Saolta Hospital Group confirmed at the Health Forum meeting on Tuesday afternoon in Merlin Park that they are now to undertake an internal review into the circumstances surrounding the care of the late Aibhe Conroy almost four years after her death on the 14th December 2011 .

The young girl had been admitted to the Regional Hospital in Galway on a number of occasions and following the last admission in December 2011 she was transferred to Temple St Children’s hospital in Dublin where unfortunately she died a number of days later.

Just last October in Dublin, the Coroner at the conclusion of the longest running inquest in the country delivered his finding of ‘Medical Misadventure’

Councillor Connolly said what prompted her to table a specific question in relation to this case at the Health Forum Meeting was the reported fact that none of the witnesses including doctors and nurses who gave evidence at the inquest had any recollection of the patient.

Cllr Connolly said this was a matter of some concern to her as it seemed to confirm that no aspect of this case was every investigated or examined by the HSE West/Saolta Group itself or any outside organization notwithstanding what emerged in the course of evidence given at the Coroner’s Court over the last two years including the fact that critical tests were not performed.

Cllr Connolly said she then tabled her written question simply asking for clarification on what steps if any had been taken by management following the unfortunate death of the young girl and further the question sought a copy of any report(s) carried out including any recommendations and any changes made following such a report.

Quite extraordinary the written reply confirmed that the Galway University Hospital fully engaged with the Coroner and then in a line or two went on to set out how they had engaged and then confirmed that ‘given the comprehensive nature of the inquest, GUH do not at this stage, intend to carry out any further review’!

However the reply also confirmed that the findings would be reviewed at our Serious Incident Management team meeting but no date given.

Cllr Connolly said she was most unhappy with this response and asked how no examination of any kind was held by the Hospital Management in the four year period since the death of the young girl. Further she asked when had the Serious Incident Management team meeting taken place and what was its outcome.

Unbelievably said Cllr Connolly, Management could not confirm when the meeting took place but then went on to confirm this matter had come up for discussion and that an Internal Review would now take place place!

Cllr Connolly said no explanation was given for this complete U Turn just given verbally at the Forum meeting nor whether the family had been contacted about the decision.

Neither was any explanation given as to why no questions were asked by Hospital Management for the last four years.

Neither indeed was there any details of who will carry out the internal review or a time scale for same given.

Councillor Connolly while the u turn has to be welcomed it is extremely difficult to have any confidence in such a process particularly after a four year period of complete inaction and failure to learn on the part of the Saolta Hospital Group.

To restore confidence she said any investigation commissioned must be speedy, with clear terms of reference and conducted by an independent outside group.


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