08/05/2015

Significant Deficiencies Highlighted At Midland General Hospital - Report

Significant deficiencies have been highlighted at Midland General Hospital in Portlaoise, according to a report by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA).

The investigation found that Portlaoise Hospital continues to provide undifferentiated surgical services where there are low numbers of complex surgical cases, despite the fact that two previous HIQA reports had identified clinical risks in these types of services.

HIQA's Chief Executive Phelim Quinn said: "This investigation was initiated as a result of the negative experiences of a number of patients and their families in receipt of services in Portlaoise Hospital. Their experiences highlighted significant deficiencies in the delivery of person-centered care at the hospital.

"This care fell well below the standard expected in a modern acute hospital. We would particularly like to pay tribute to the patients and families who made contact with the Authority to outline their experience of care within Portlaoise Hospital.

"Our findings point to failures, over a number of years by the HSE at a national, regional and local level to decisively address numerous clinical governance and management issues. This impacted upon the quality and safety of services provided at Portlaoise Hospital."

The HIQA has made eight recommendations which must be implemented to ensure that risks and deficiencies identified are addressed.

Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD said: "This report arises from experiences of poor care and bad outcomes by many patients and families, some identified following the RTÉ Prime Time programme in January 2014. It is clear from the report that over a sustained period the HSE at all levels failed to adequately deal with issues relating to clinical governance and management. That this has affected negatively the quality and safety of services in Portlaoise Hospital is an indictment of the HSE, and leaves a dependent public in an even more conflicted position.

"The report tells us that there were many reasons why the HSE should have maintained very close oversight of services at Portlaoise Hospital, including local and national HSE inquiries into significant service failures. It is evident that while clinical reviews were carried out, findings and recommendations were not acted on or implemented.

"It was also found that the hospital was operating as a model-3 hospital, one which provides the full range of acute services, but that these services were not resourced nor equipped to an adequate level. It also appears that senior HSE managers were focused mainly on controlling budgets. Money won out over patient safety."

(CD/JP)

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