Calls for clarity on audiology review

Health Minister Simon Harris has been urged to clarify whether the review of the work of an audiologist at the centre of serious failings in the treatment of children in the West needs to be extended.

A review of paediatric audiology services in Mayo and Roscommon covering the period April 2011-February 2015 led to 995 children being recalled and retested.

Of those:

  • 13 children were re-referred into the service and identified as having a hearing loss;
  • 16 out of 188 children with hearing aids received hearing aid management that deviated significantly from recommendations set out in the National Audiology Review Group report;
  • 20 out of 995 children recalled and retested were identified with a new hearing loss.

While the HSE has apologised to those affected and said the audiologist in question “no longer works in the audiology services”, it has not said where else the individual worked in the State. Furthermore, while the review covered 2011-2015, it is understood the person worked there for up to a decade.

It did say the appropriate treatment has now been put in place for the children affected and that it is currently finalising plans to share full details of the outcome of the audit with the families.

The HSE admitted that “identifying hearing loss late, or the ineffective management of hearing aids, can cause children problems with their speech and language development, behaviour, as well as affect their academic ability and social skills”.

Eugene Murphy, Fianna Fáil TD for Roscommon/Galway, said: “If this review only covered the period from 2011 to 2015, what about the many other cases that this individual audiologist carried out if they were working in the Mayo/Roscommon area for over 10 years.

“I am calling on Minister (Simon) Harris to clarify whether the review will now be extended to cover the full period of time the audiologist was working in Mayo/Roscommon and also whether the review will be extended to other parts of the country, where this particular individual may also have worked.”


Lifestyle

On June 26, we sat outside the first bar to open here since lockdown began on March 15. There are only two bars in the valley. Cafes serve drinks, but these are bar-bars, the kind that stay open after midnight.Damien Enright: Fruit trees are laden with their bounty as we prepare to leave

In October 1986, 52 mute swans, living peacefully on the Tolka in Dublin, were drenched in diesel oil accidentally released into the river. Swan-catchers went into action; only one bird died before they reached it.Richard Collins: Human crisis will offer chance for wild animal research

It's a typically Irish summer’s day of sunshine and occasional showers. Travel restrictions have been eased again and we venture forth to one of nature’s gems, Gougane Barra, deep in the mountains of West Cork.Donal Hickey: Gougane Barra has peace and wildness

When the ferryman pulls away from the pier and the salty spray of the sea hits your face the feeling of release from the mainland is deeply pleasurable. Your island awaits. Whether for a day trip or a holiday, the lure of the islands is as magnetic as ever.The Islands of Ireland: The lure of the less-visited

More From The Irish Examiner