Updated: 05/04/17 : 03:56:11
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Former Sligo consultant gynaecologist struck off

Former Sligo consultant gynaecologist Dr Andrea Hermann (53) has been struck off the medical register by the High Court.

It follows findings by an Irish Medical Council fitness-to-practise committee she was guilty of professional misconduct and poor professional performance.

The misconduct included her failure to inform Sligo General [now University] Hospital of conditions on her registration from previous misconduct findings against her.

Last December, the committee found her guilty of poor professional performance on a number of counts relating to the treatment of new mothers at the hospital where she worked as an obstetric and gynaecology registrar.

Those related to the care provided to six mothers who attended the hospital between August 2013 and February 2014.

Disciplinary Hearing

The professional misconduct related to her failure to disclose to Sligo General conditions imposed on her by the Medical Council as a result of a previous disciplinary hearing. These conditions included a requirement to undergo retraining and supervision.

In 2010, the German national lost a High Court appeal over a Medical Council decision suspending her for a year and imposing conditions on her return to work.

That had followed another inquiry in which she was found guilty of professional misconduct in relation to her treatment of three patients while working at the Galway Clinic.

Those patients included the late Saundra O'Connor (39) from Claregalway, Co Galway, who developed septic shock after a procedure carried out by Dr Hermann in 2005. Ms O’Connor subsequently spent almost three years in a vegetative state before she died in February 2008.

Dr Hermann was not in court and was not represented.

She was represented briefly at the beginning of last year's committee inquiry by a solilcitor who ceased to represent her after reading a statement on her behalf.

She said in it:  “It feels to me you are disappointed that I’m still alive.”

Dr Hermann admitted to the clinical allegations against her but did not admit to the allegations in relation to not disclosing the conditions attached to her registration to Sligo General.

Surgical Skill

Among the findings of last year's inquiry were that  she failed to perform an elective caesarean section with due skill, making an abnormal wound incision on one mother in December 2013.

She failed to obtain informed consent from another patient prior to carry out a membrane sweep during an ante-natal visit.

The inquiry also found she failed to display adequate surgical skill while closing up the uterus after a C-section on another patient.

Following the fitness-to-practise committee findings, the Medical Council decided  her name should be cancelled on the specialist division of the Irish Medical Register.

The matter came before High Court president, Mr Justice Peter Kelly, who said that having regard to the gravity of the findings,  he was satisfied the Medical Council's decision to have her name erased was correct in the interest of protecting of the public.