Consultants had sent warning in second letter over Waterford hospital morgue crisis

Consultants had sent warning in second letter over Waterford hospital morgue crisis
The second letter sent by four consultants in March to South/South West hospital group.

The four consultants at the centre of the Waterford hospital morgue crisis warned in a second letter in March they may have to cancel their mortuary services to the hospital.

Consultant pathologists Prof Rob Landers, Dr Fergus MacSweeney, Dr Nigam Shah and Dr Christine Shilling wrote the second letter to South/South West hospital group chief executive Gerry O'Dwyer on March 26.

The letter was sent a day after Mr O'Dwyer responded to their initial concerns raised last autumn.

In the second letter, the consultants said the significant delay in responding to the issues they have raised amounts to an "inordinate delay" and "does not inspire confidence".

"Continuing failure to provide safe and dignified conditions will give us no option but to withdraw our post-morterm service from the current facility.

Contingency arrangements will need to be put in place for this eventuality. While we have no desire to discommode patients and their relatives, the failure of the HSE to adequately progress the provision of new safe facilities leaves us with no other choice.

"The safety of our staff and public, as well as the dignity of the deceased, remain our only concerns. These matters must be resolved quickly and without further obfuscation or delay," they wrote.

Meanwhile, it has separately emerged that a senior HSE official wrote to the HSE's financial group the HSE Estates office last summer raising concerns about Waterford's morgue.

The official letter sent by the HSE.
The official letter sent by the HSE.

In a short letter sent on July 12, 2018, by assistant chief executive of the South/South West hospital group, Dr Gerard O'Callaghan said "at the request" of hospital management he visited the mortuary last year.

I would have to say that I was appalled at the poor condition of the building and the obvious health and safety and infection issues that exist there.

"The working conditions for the staff are not acceptable, nor is it a suitable environment for relatives of the deceased.

"I am aware that the development of a new mortuary has been a priority for hospital management for a number of years and they have included the current mortuary as a risk on their risk register. I believe it is now imperative that this development would be given priority by the HSE estates department," Dr O'Callaghan wrote.

The letters were released by Sinn Féin's Waterford TD David Cullinane on Friday.

More on this topic

Billy Connolly shares update on Parkinson’s diseaseBilly Connolly shares update on Parkinson’s disease

Johnson & Johnson in $4bn opioid offerJohnson & Johnson in $4bn opioid offer

Zero-rated tax remains for some foodsZero-rated tax remains for some foods

TTM health staff recruitment firm in €2.3m profitTTM health staff recruitment firm in €2.3m profit


More in this Section

Dublin GAA club claims its future 'is in jeopardy' after joyriders destroy pitchesDublin GAA club claims its future 'is in jeopardy' after joyriders destroy pitches

Households accounted for one-fifth of greenhouse gases but paid over half of all environmental taxesHouseholds accounted for one-fifth of greenhouse gases but paid over half of all environmental taxes

'It's up to the House of Commons now' - Taoiseach raises Brexit pressure on UK'It's up to the House of Commons now' - Taoiseach raises Brexit pressure on UK

Appeal court allows receiver to repossess Capel Street building which housed former theatre and showroomAppeal court allows receiver to repossess Capel Street building which housed former theatre and showroom


Lifestyle

Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra played a storming gig at Cork Opera House, writes Des O'Driscoll Live Music Review: Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra

Concerns about people’s ability to access their own money have been growing – here’s what the debate is all about.Are we actually going to end up as a cashless society?

Esther N McCarthy mixes it up with spins on kitchen classics, Munster-based design news plus an absolute diamond of a poufMade in Munster: Wish list of the best products in the province

Clodagh Finn visits UCC’s world-leading microbiome centre, where researchers are exploring new ways to use intestinal bacteria to improve our mental and physical health, including the possibility of developing a probiotic capsule to help control weightMade in Munster: Harvesting power of gut bacteria

More From The Irish Examiner