AIMS Ireland Statement: Catastrophic failure of services in Portlaoise
May 8, 2015
The Association for Improvements in the Maternity Services (AIMS) Ireland are saddened though unfortunately not shocked by the contents of the HIQA report on Portlaoise published today. It is clear that the gross understaffing and underfunding of the maternity services in general in Ireland as well as the lack of accountability and oversight of each individual maternity hospital by the HSE, combined with a culture of not listening to or addressing the concerns of women and families has led to these tragic series of events.
Commenting, Krysia Lynch, chairperson of AIMS Ireland said, “HIQA described the HSE as ‘not a learning organisation’ and this is clearly the case from the catastrophic failure on their part to have learned from any of the reports that issued warning on conditions in Portlaoise, and apparently now to implement all of the necessary measures advised by HIQA to ensure safety at present in the hospital. AIMS Ireland have grave concerns over the ongoing provision of potentially unsafe maternity services in Portlaoise. Our concerns also extend to the wider maternity services; with no accountability and no oversight of individual maternity hospitals how can women and their families be assured their care will be safe? Over 600 midwives should be hired immediately to ensure the staffing levels needed to ensure basic safety requirements are met; without these fundamental needs being met AIMS Ireland fear that Portlaoise will be far from the only maternity hospital we hear of more tragedies coming to light in.”
Further commenting, Ms Lynch asked, “Who is going to face sanctions for the horrendous series of events which led to the loss of these babies? It is clear from the HIQA report that there was an attempt to cover-up these deaths; who will be held accountable for this? Why did Portlaoise and senior HSE management fail to implement changes necessary to make services safe despite their knowledge of this coming from reports issued, as well as their own incident recording systems? Will all of these staff continue to hold their jobs? AIMS Ireland strongly agree with the recommendations for the implementation of a truly independent advocacy group for patients to air their views in a safe way; it is clear this was sorely lacking, and sorely needed in Portlaoise.”
For further comment contact:
Krysia Lynch 0877543751