Findings of Halappanavar inquiries to be discussed at special meeting

HSE group to meet in Galway to examine three investigations into woman’s death at UHG in 2012

Prof Sabaratnam Arulkatumaran (left) , chairperson, and Dr Philip Crowler, National Director for Quality and Patient Safety, at the publication of the Health Service Executive (HSE) clinical review report into the death of Savita Halappanavar in Dublin in June. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Prof Sabaratnam Arulkatumaran (left) , chairperson, and Dr Philip Crowler, National Director for Quality and Patient Safety, at the publication of the Health Service Executive (HSE) clinical review report into the death of Savita Halappanavar in Dublin in June. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Thu, Oct 17, 2013, 15:09

The findings of all three investigations into the death of Savita Halappanavar (31) at University Hospital Galway (UHG) a year ago are to discussed at a special meeting of the HSE West-North West Hospital Group tonight.

The meeting has been convened following last week’s publication of the third report into Ms Halappanavar’s death, after she was admitted to UHG last October when she was 17 weeks pregnant and miscarrying.

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) report confirmed 13 “missed opportunities” during Ms Halappanavar’s care in hospital, which, if identified and acted upon, could have resulted in a different outcome.

The board members are due to consider the HIQA findings, and those of the inquest and the Health Service Executive (HSE) investigations, and identify what further should be taken.

The board’s structure had been criticised in the HIQA report, which noted that the appointment by the chairperson of the four executive directors was “not in linewith the authority’s recommendations in its 2012 investigation report into theAdelaide and Meath Hospital, Dublin incorporating the National Children’s Hospital (Tallaght Hospital), adopted by the Department of Health”.

It is understood that this will be discussed at tonight’s (thurs) meeting, which is closed to the media.

Mayor of Galway Padraig Conneely (FG) has called on four board members who are attached to the Galway-Roscommon university hospitals group to absent themselves from tonight’s discussions.

Mr Conneely called on hospital group chief executive Bill Maher, chief financial officer Maurice Power, clinical director Dr Pat Nash, and director of nursing and midwifery Colette Cowan not to attend , due to what he termed a “conflict of interests”.

“There will be no accountability and no restoration of confidence in the regional health service if it is perceived that the board responsible for acting on this report is stuffed with senior management who would effectively be policing themselves,”Mr Conneely said.

“Other HSE hospitals across the country have removed management from their boards in accordance with recommendations by HIQA last year. This is not the case in Galway-Roscommon,”Mr Conneely said.

The joint hospitals group said it had no comment to make.

Mr Conneely has made a formal complaint to the Medical Council this week about the actions of the consultant obstetrician responsible for Ms Halappanavar’s care.

The complaint will be referred to the Medical Council’s preliminary proceedings committee which will decide whether the matter should be referred to a full inquiry, he said.