Review of Savita recommendations due today

Report expected to say substantial changes made since death in Galway two years ago

The performance of University Hospital Galway (UHG) in implementing recommendations following the death of Savita Halappanavar two years ago will be assessed in a review to be published today.

Ms Halappanavar died one week after she was admitted to the Galway hospital when she was 17 weeks pregnant and miscarrying.

Subsequent reports were critical of the failure of staff to detect a sudden deterioration in her condition following the onset of sepsis.

The review is expected to find the hospital has made considerable progress in implementing the recommendations from the three reports published after her death.

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The Saolta Hospital Group, which includes UHG, will publish the report in Galway at a public board meeting later today. The review was carried out by consultants Ernst and Young in recent months.

The review does not deal with the disciplinary process for staff involved in the care of Ms Halappanavar, which the hospital says is complete. In September it said the actions of 30 staff were considered and it was found 21 had “no case to answer”. Sanctions, including written warnings and more training, were imposed on up to nine other staff.

A number of cases are currently before the professional bodies for doctors and nurses, the Medical Council and the Nursing and Midwifery Board, but no public hearings have been held so far.

A total of 33 recommendations arose from the inquest into Ms Halappanavar’s death, an inquiry by the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) into the care she received while in hospital and a HSE investigation, led by an external expert.

The coroner made nine recommendations when returning a verdict of medical misadventure in April 2013, the HSE report made nine further recommendations and the Hiqa report made 15 recommendations relating to the hospital.

In November 2013, the Saolta board said it would outline progress made in implementing these recommendations at a future board meeting.

It has already said services have been improved through the provision of training to staff on sepsis management, improved structures for monitoring patients and better handovers between staff changing shifts.

Paul Cullen

Paul Cullen

Paul Cullen is a former heath editor of The Irish Times.