Three day external
review of Cavan
Maternity Unit

An external review of the maternity unit of Cavan General Hospital began last week, following concerns over the deaths of four babies at the hospital since 2012.

An external review of the maternity unit of Cavan General Hospital began last week, following concerns over the deaths of four babies at the hospital since 2012.

The HSE has commissioned four external investigations, two of which have been completed, while another has been escalated and is awaiting the appointment of a review team.

The three-day exercise conducted by David Flory, a former senior executive of the National Health Service in Britain, will assess governance, care pathways, complaints, incidents and risk management.

Arising from the problems which have arisen at the hospital recently, the HSE has commissioned a quality, risk and patient safety assurance review to assess governance arrangements in Cavan.

The hospital has welcomed the review and assures expectant mothers of the quality of services at the maternity unit.

Cavan is one of three smaller maternity units which have been singled out for review by Mr Flory. A similar exercise is to be carried out later this month in Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe, where the deaths of up to 12 babies are being investigated.

The third unit to be reviewed is South Tipperary General Hospital in Clonmel.

Mr Flory was engaged by HSE director general Tony O’Brien to look at Irish maternity units in the wake of the Portlaoise hospital report, which was highly critical of governance and management of the midlands hospital.

The hospital says it is satisfied the standards of safety of the maternity service are high and compare well to other services in the State.

It says Cavan’s corrected perinatal mortality figures for 2011, 2012 and 2013 were 1.5, 3.1 and 3.1 per 1,000 births, compared with a national average of 4.1

Separately, the HSE has apologised to a patient who suffered a serious adverse incident in Cavan’s Maternity unit. The incident did not involve the death of a baby.