More then 300 gynaecology patients are to have their cases reviewed amid concerns over the work of a health professional, a hospital confirmed today.
Women who attended the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department at Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry, Co Down, are being informed their cases are the subject of an urgent review.
The Southern Trust confirmed it is conducting a precautionary review of patients who were treated by the medical professional who was temporarily employed by the hospital.
The Trust's medical director, Dr Patrick Loughran, said the member of staff who is under scrutiny no longer works for the hospital.
Dr Loughran apologised for distress that news of the review would cause to the women involved.
“The decision to carry out this precautionary review follows concerns about aspects of the healthcare professional’s work,” he said.
“The process will be conducted by Professor William Thompson, former Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Queen’s University, Belfast.
“A review of notes of just over 300 patients who were seen by the individual between January and May is currently under way.
“This comprehensive exercise is being conducted as a matter of urgency and is expected to take two weeks to complete.”
Dr Loughran added: “The Trust would like to apologise for any distress or anxiety this exercise may cause but I would stress that this is a precautionary measure in order to rule out any uncertainty.”
Sinn Féin Assembly member Mickey Brady, who represents the Newry area, said rumours of the health scare had been circulating for some time.
“Rumours have been sweeping the hospital and the locality and have been causing stress to both staff and patients,” he said.
He called for the Trust to release as much information as possible and expressed concerns for women who now face the trauma of waiting for the outcome of the review.
The patients affected are understood to have attended the hospital over the last six months, between December 31 and May 16.
Dr Loughran said further information would be available to patients when the review was concluded.
“We are writing to all patients whose notes are being examined as part of the review and once the review is complete we will write to all the women again to advise them of the outcome,” he said.
“It would therefore be inappropriate to make any further comment until then.”