Updated: 14/12/16 : 05:17:52
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Patient body backs judge-led review in Sligo Hospital

Special Report

A FORENSIC inquiry is needed within Sligo University Hospital to review patient safety issues.

The call has come from Stephen McMahon of the Irish Patients Association.

He has identified several areas of concern which should be addressed by such a probe.

One option suggested by Mr McMahon is that the inquiry be led by a judge.

This follows a decision of the Irish Medical Council's Fitness to Practice re a registrar employed at Sligo University Hospital in 2013 and 2014.

Broke Down

Earlier this week the Council found Dr Andrea Hermann guilty of poor professional performance on 17 counts.

''We are deeply concerned,'' said Mr McMahon's Irish Patients Association.

''We need to understand what broke down here and why,'' he said.

Calling for a forensic inquiry, he added: ''It may be an option for a judicial review.''

He outlined a number of areas which should be addressed in such review:-

1. A review of (a management processes and (b) governance in the recruitment;

2. (A review of) the supervisory process relating to this doctor.

Meanwhile, Sligo University Hospital, hospital, now part of the Saolta group of hospitals in the west, has already conceded its shortcomings.

Said a statement: ''Following the issues raised in this case, the process of checking NCHD (non consultant hospital doctor) registration details was reviewed.

''A comprehensive pre-employment checklist is now retain on all HR (human resource) files,'' said Saolta.

But the Irish Daily Mail revealed yesterday, Tuesday, that a Google check would have identified issues with Dr Andrea Hermann, the registrar.

This included a 2008 payout of 580,000 made to a family after the death of their mother, aged 42.

Keyhole Surgery

The woman received routine keyhole surgery, twenty minutes duration, for a cyst on her ovary while in the Galway Clinic.

She ended up in a near vegetative state and died three years later.

It emerged antibiotics treatment should have started sooner after an infection.

No admission of liability was made by either Dr Hermann or Galway Clinic.

The Medical Council required she work under supervision after the incident.

Conditions Attached

During her interview for the Sligo post, Dr Hermann mentioned her  ''difficulties'' with the Medical Council, she said.

However, Sligo University Hospital said she had failed to disclose there were conditions attached to her registration.

Link: See Sligo Today 13/12/2016.