Private maternity hospital rejects Medical Council concerns

Mount Carmel places “paramount importance on patient safety”, hospital says

Mount Carmel Hospital, DublinPhotograph: Aidan crawley

Mount Carmel Hospital, DublinPhotograph: Aidan crawley

Thu, Apr 18, 2013, 15:35

Well-known South Dublin maternity hospital Mount Carmel has written to the Medical Council to reject concerns raised by a fitness-to-practice inquiry about surgical practices there.

Earlier this week, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Patrick Gerard Rafferty, who works at Mount Carmel and at Landscape Clinic, both private facilities in Churchtown, was found guilty of five allegations of professional misconduct.

Chairman of the inquiry committee, Dr Danny O’Hare, had said the committee was concerned about Dr Rafferty performing surgery without ensuring there was another surgeon or surgical nurse present.

“If that practise had been in place in Mount Carmel at the time and if it were to continue in Mount Carmel then any surgeon observing that protocol would be putting patients in danger,” Mr O’Hare said.

In a letter sent to Dr O’Hare, Dr Julian Dockeray, clinical director of women and children’s health at the hospital said he rejected “in the clearest possible terms”, any suggestion that “surgical procedure practices at Mount Carmel are not undertaken to the highest possible standards”.

“It is Mount Carmel Hospital protocol that a minimum six medical and nursing professionals, including a consultant surgeon, a consultant anaesthetist, four trained theatre nurses and a minimum of one theatre assistant are present at each surgical procedure,” he said.

He also said the hospital was accredited by Joint Commission International, a body which oversees standards in health care. All surgeons working at Mount Carmel were expected to comply with Royal College of Surgeons standards, Dr Dockeray said.

The hospital, which treats 40,000 patients annually, placed “paramount importance on patient safety” and “maintaining the trust and confidence of the patients” it serves.

“It is deeply regrettable that any negative implication concerning our surgical practices may have arisen at this inquiry,” Dr Dockeray said.