Concern about unfilled positions at Portiuncula Hospital almost two years after independent report

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Galway Daily news Concerns about failure to implement report recommendations at Portiuncula Hospital

Concerns have been raised that multiple roles at Portiuncula Hospital recommended by an independent report are still unfilled after almost two years.

The Walker Report, an independent review of Maternity services at Portiuncula Hospital, was published in April 2018.

But in the time since then, many of recommendations in the report remain unfulfilled Galway East TD Anne Rabitte says.

In particular, multiple staff positions which were recommended by the report still have not been filled a parliamentary question from Deputy Rabbitte revealed.

The Walker Report was commissioned after reports of six babies referred for Therapeutic Hypothermia from Portiuncula in 2014.

The report ultimately found that while care was of a high standard for a majority of women “the staffing levels were insufficient, making it difficult to provide care for women when things went wrong”.

“There was a lack of senior midwifery support in the labour ward and a lack of a consultant presence,” the report read.

In response to a parliamentary report from Anne Rabbitte, the Saolta Healthcare Group said that the appointment of a Peri-natal Pathologist, Sonographers, and Consultant Obstetricians/Gynaecologists are all outstanding.

“We are over a year and a half since the Walker Report was published. The report made 35 key recommendations yet some of these remain outstanding which is very concerning.”

“We must not forget the reason this independent review led by Professor James Walker was carried out, and should ensure incidents like those never happen again.”

“Expectant parents deserve to know that there are the required medical professionals in Portiuncla Hospital as they go through one of the most important times in their lives.”

The Saolta Group has said that several of these post are expected to be addressed in the coming weeks, with more progress by year’s end.

Deputy Rabbitte said that these positions badly need to be filled for the hospital to fulfil its intended function.

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