- With additional reporting from Digital Desk Staff
The HSE has insisted that the Mater Hospital met all its legal requirements in terms of reporting its number of Covid-19 infections, despite 244 such incidences being reported many weeks late last week.
At a briefing to outline plans to re-open non-Covid healthcare in the community, HSE chief executive Paul Reid said that a draft report into what had happened at the Mater has been completed, and that he has been “specifically reassured” by its contents.
“The submission of such data is a statutory legal requirement. That legal requirement was met,” he said, adding that all contact tracing regarding those 244 infections had likewise been completed.
He said the HSE was in the process of contacting all other hospitals in the State to verify that they also have been submitting details of all their known infections in a timely manner.
The briefing heard that while the occupational health section of the Mater had notified that contact tracing teams about the infections, the information uploaded to the Computerised Infectious Disease Reporting system (CIDR) - the HSE’s database for monitoring such illnesses which in turn supplies the information delivered by the National Public Health Emergency Team on a daily basis - had been insufficient to allow those cases to be processed correctly.
“There are no inferences that this happened elsewhere,” Dr Colm Henry, chief clinical officer with the HSE, said. He insisted that the HSE was not “impugning” the reputation of any individual hospital.
Dr Henry would not be drawn as to what the specifics of the missing information were, but did say that the HSE is “trying to establish” why it took so long for the issue to be rectified, given that some of the positive results date from mid-March.
Mr Reid said that the missing information is consistent for each of the 244 cases. He added that all of those cases involved Mater staff members, and insisted that all of their tests had been processed at the Mater itself.
There had been suggestions that the tests in question were not conducted on the Mater site, as has been the case with other hospitals, with staff members in the regions taking tests at their local testing centres.