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Press Release concerning Clinical Reviews by the HSE into Adverse Events including deaths
Patient Focus looks forward to the imminent publication of the report of the Investigation Team into the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar in Galway University Hospital last October.
Patient Focus is strongly of the opinion that an urgent review needs to be conducted into the manner in which deaths and injuries to patients are investigated in Irish hospitals to bring them up to an acceptable standard.
We hope the learning acquired by the HSE as a result of the public scrutiny involved in this case will now be rolled out to the conduct of other reviews and investigations. Sadly many injuries and deaths suffered by patients are not investigated promptly, thoroughly and fairly. Standards are variable throughout the country and risk management processes are often rudimentary.
As a general rule the onus is on patients and their families to seek answers, drive the quest for an investigation, monitor its progress and seek the right to participate in it. Investigation into deaths and serious injury routinely take several years. Furthermore patients and their families feel they are treated as outsiders and are often not interviewed by the professionals conducting any review. This is true even when a review has been set up as a result of pressure by the patient or family involved.
Audits of the numbers of deaths and injuries are not systematically conducted leaving Irish society ignorant of the real extent of “adverse events” in our health system.
Private hospitals and clinics are in effect outside any monitoring whatsoever and are a cause of particular concern due to lack of licensing.