Hiqa board considers request for Savita inquiry
The board of the Health Information and Quality Authority is meeting to consider a request from the HSE to carry out a statutory inquiry into the care and treatment of Savita Halappanavar University Hospital Galway.
In a statement Hiqa confirmed it had received a request from the HSE and was considering the request and all the information that it had received and would issue its decision tomorrow.
Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said he understood the position of Savita Halappanavar’s family in relation to the Health Service Executive inquiry into her death but would not say whether the Government would change its terms.
Mr Gilmore said he had no problem with the intervention of President Higgins and indicated he was willing to meet Ms Halappanavar’s husband Praveen. “I’m always willing to meet people.”
Asked if the Government would change its plans for an inquiry if that was what was required to gain the support of Ms Halappanavar’s family, he said the objective remained to get to the bottom of what happened.
Separately, Praveen Halappanavar’s solicitor Gerard O'Donnell has said there is no record in Ms Halappanavar’s medical file of her requests for a termination while she was being treated in hospital.
The director general designate of the HSE Tony O’Brien said even if Ms Halappanavar’s family decided not to co-operate with the executive’s inquiry, the review “must be brought to a conclusion”.
“There was 'no way' the inquiry could be stopped as it would be “criminally negligent” not to proceed, he said.
Mr Halappanavar's decision not to participate in the inquiry "does not absolve the HSE of an obligation to ensure that the inquiry proceeds” he said. The HSE inquiry would provide it with clinical information that may be of “immediate value” in the hospital, he said.
In order to give “further reassurance” to her family and the public, Mr O’Brien said he told the Hiqa chief executive wanted it to initiate its own statutory inquiry. This could take place before the HSE inquiry concluded, he said.
It was not “either or” as to a public review and the HSE clinical inquiry, he told RTÉ Radio’s News at One. There will also be a coroner’s process under way shortly which has “many attributes of a public inquiry,” he said.
Mr O'Donnell said he had studied the medical records given to the family closely and had written to the HSE about them on Monday.
Mr O'Donnell's main concern was that there was no request documented in the Savita Halappanavar's medical records that she or her husband had repeatedly sought a termination.