By Ann O'Loughlin
South Tipperary General Hospital has apologised in the High Court today for a second time to the family of a nine-year old Tipperary girl with cerebral palsy for the "gross deficits" in the care provided at the time of her birth.
The hospital in an apology read to the High Court acknowledged the suffering Katie Manton "has and will endure for the rest of her life" and it also apologised to her parents without reservation.
Over two years ago the little girl from Tipperary settled for €6.7Million her legal action against the HSE over the circumstances of her birth.
In court today her mother Aoife Manton settled her action against the HSE over the management of her daughter's birth on September 17, 2008.
The terms of that settlement are confidential.
Outside the court, Katie’s parents Aoife and Ray Manton said they will never forgive the HSE for what happened.
"We will never forgive the HSE for what happened.They apologised but it is only words. At 3am in the morning when Katie is having a seizure what am I meant to do with that apology?" Mrs Manton said.
She said they were extremely angry at what happened and the catastrophic injury suffered by Katie.
The family also called on the HSE to publish in detail their protocols, recruitment policies and the steps it has taken to ensure this never happens again.
They said they wanted these measures " to give confidence to other expectant mothers."
In court the latest apology was read out by HSE Counsel Patrick Hanratty SC on behalf of South Tipperary General Hospital.
"We wish to apologise without reservation not just for the gross deficits in the care provided by this hospital in the treatment of Aoife Manton and in the delivery of her daughter Katie", it said but also for other matters including "the deficits in our recruitment policy."
It also apologised for the "failure of this hospital to follow the protocol requiring references from two consultants, obtaining a reference from only one consultant concerning the professional capacity the obstetric registrar who treated Mrs Manton and also for a mistake made in communicating the full name of the obstetric registrar who delivered Katie.
"We acknowledge the suffering that Katie has and will endure for the rest of her life. We have already apologised for that in her proceedings and we repeat the apology now," it said.
It added: "The pain, distress and ongoing anger that both Aoife and Ray Manton are enduring is understood by the hospital. We apologise to both of them without reservation."
It added the deficits in the recruitment process at the time have since been rectified.
In court today Liam Reidy SC for the Mantons said Mrs Manton’s case could now be struck out.
Katie’s Mum Aoife Manton,George’s Land, Dualla Road, Cashel,Co Tipperary had sued the HSE as a result of the alleged inadequate and below standard management her obstructed labour and the alleged excessive delay in delivering Katie who suffered a lack of oxygen to the brain.
It was claimed there was an alleged failure to deliver by cesarean section or otherwise the baby in a timely manner and an alleged failure to properly diagnose the CTG readings either properly or at all and to deliver the baby in a timely manner. The claims were denied.
At the settlement of Katie’s own action in 2015, Mrs Manton said the apology then was "simply too little too late."
"It has been a very difficult time for the family. Since Katie’s birth in 2008 we have tried to do our best for Katie with limited means and resources.In light of the circumstances surrounding our daughter’s birth, and with regard to issues that remain to be addressed, it is simply too little, too late.
“The failures on the part of the HSE and South Tipperary General Hospital have affected the lives of everyone in our family, and more particularly our wonderful daughter Katie, whom we all love dearly and of whom we are very proud."