Galway University Hospitals have today reassured the public in relation to spinal or other orthopaedic services following a review of the work carried out by a consultant orthopaedic surgeon at two hospitals in the group.
An independent audit of the spinal surgery procedures carried out by the surgeon at University Hospital Galway and Merlin Park Hospital between January 1, 2013 and November 14, 2014 revealed serious concerns in relation to four cases in particular.
The independent experts, who are also orthopaedic surgeons, audited all relevant surgery cases - 198 cases in total - but found no significant concerns for the vast majority of patients.
The Irish Times reported today that the health service had confirmed to them that two of the patients operated on by the orthopaedic surgeon under investigation in Galway had since died.
The consultant surgeon concerned is no longer working in Ireland.
“Galway University Hospital has engaged directly with all of the spinal surgery patients (or their families) whose cases were audited and offered them any services that they may require: this includes, if necessary, an independent clinical review,” a spokesperson stated.
“The hospital will continue to engage directly with the patients and families concerned. The hospital has also been in contact with patients’ GPs."
Management and clinicians at Galway University Hospitals are meeting patients individually, should they wish, to take them through the external experts’ comments and offer them an independent clinical review.
The Irish Medical Council has been advised. The Galway University Hospitals-Saolta University Health Care Group said it regrets any distress this process may cause to patients or their families.
Other service users with any concerns have been encouraged to contact a helpline number at 1800 659 4589 from Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.