HSE Publishes Review of Maternity Complaints


The Health Service Executive has published a review of 203 complaints about maternity services over a 40-year period. The 63-page review report says that the complaints have led to improvements in maternity services in Ireland.


The HSE Maternity Clinical Complaints Review said that for many of the complainants, compassion, sensitivity and understanding in the provision of expert clinical care was not always demonstrated. The report said that the length of time it took to complete the process has been hard for participants, especially for those who lost a baby.


Most of the complaints relate to the Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise and others involve the Rotunda and Coombe hospitals in Dublin, Limerick University Hospital, Cork Maternity Hospital, Kerry General, the Midland Regional Mullingar, the Midland Regional Tullamore and Galway University Hospital.


The complaints reviewed related to perinatal death, maternal death, communication, access to information, autism, gynaecology issues, health care record issues, infant after care and management of labour.


The report says the external expert clinical reviewers attributed perinatal deaths to a range of causes, occurring in multiple different circumstances. It said that specific conclusions cannot be drawn in this context.


Dr Susan O'Reilly, Chief Executive of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group, said the HSE had learned from what had happened and said the complaints were screened to see if there were any adverse events.


Dr Peter McKenna, a member of the review board, said the latest evidence is that Portlaoise operates within the parameters of what is statistically acceptable regarding perinatal mortality. He also said that no maternity hospital lies outside the range of what is acceptable.

RTÉ. May 23.

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