Treatment of grieving parents by Portlaoise hospital 'shames' minister

Treatment of grieving parents by Portlaoise hospital 'shames' minister

The Minister for Health Leo Varadkar has said he is personally "ashamed" at the treatment of grieving mothers at the Midlands Regional Hospital in Portlaoise.

Mr Varadkar says vulnerable and grieving parents were treated without any respect or compassion.

He was speaking at the Oireachtas health committee this morning after yesterday meeting with the affected parents in Portlaoise.

He also said the poor treatment of bereaved parents cannot just be blamed on a lack of resources.

The minister said: "I have to say I am ashamed at the manner with which patients were treated, without respect, care or compassion when they most needed it by members of my own profession and other professions.

"Many did not receive the quality of care one should expect from a modern heatlhcare service in a developed world.

"Patients and families were treated dreadfully, and at times inhumanely."

Meanwhile, the head of the HSE said he is bringing in an external investigator to find out why some concerns were not dealt with.

Tony O'Brien says the HIQA report has shown that concerns were raised by some of the hospital's workers, but never looked into.

Mr O'Brien said: "In light of this report, I have taken the decision to bring in an external investigator in accordance with the HSE's disciplinary procedure to look at issues of concern.

"There were many issues escalated, they didn't always find their way to the right decision-making levels and this must be investigated in accordance with fair procedures."


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