Updated: 16/12/16 : 05:01:23
How Dr Andrea Hermann got a job that threatened her patientsí care is extremely worrying!
That's the question posed by Paddy Clancy
writing on IrishMirror.ie
Earlier this year I wrote a scathing attack on conditions for patients at Sligo University Hospital.
Later a senior medic told me they were delighted I revealed the effects of financial cutbacks and poor administration.I am even more worried about administrators in the hospital management after the dreadful botching by Dr Hermann we discovered this week.
Who on earth hired her, and why was she taken on in the hospital after her past medical history in the HSE could so easily be found in Internet search engines?
She was already linked to pay out of a small fortune in compensation and still the obstetrician was able to get a job in Sligo hospital.Worse, she was appointed while the hospital was under investigation for contributing to the deaths of at least two mothers after they gave birth.
One would have thought that at that stage the warning lights would have been flashing vividly in the Sligo hospital interview office. If they were, the interviewers must have been blinkered because they still gave a job to Hermann.
It was a decision that would bring suffering to six pregnant women under Hermannís care.
A quick look at Google would have made the interviewers aware that Hermann was not a fit person for employment in the hospital. Were they too lazy to look, or were they relying on a HSE information process thatís known to have been sadly lacking in detail?Recap
A brief recap on what happened this week! Hermann, who moved from Germany in 1998 to work in Ireland, was found guilty by the fitness to practise committee of the Medical Council of bungling operations on pregnant women in Sligo in 2013 and 2014.The women under her care survived, but Hermann was found guilty of poor professional performance on 17 counts.
She was also accused of not making a full disclosure about strict conditions when she was allowed to return to work after being suspended for a year in an earlier part of her disturbing medical history. That was when she worked at the Galway Clinic and a patient Saundra OíConnor ended up in a near-vegetative state after a minor surgery in 2005 and died three years later in 2008.Tragic Saundraís family were awarded Ä580,000 in settlement in a wrongful death action although there was no admission of liability by the clinic or Hermann.
The award of more than a half million euro should have been a serious warning sign to the Sligo interviewers Ė if they were aware of it.
Hermann started in Sligo in mid-2013 after the tragic deaths there of Dhara Kivlehan in 2010 and Sally Rowlette in February 2013. Both were giving birth. Inquests later found their deaths to be the result of medical misadventure.
Hermann was not linked to them in any way, but the fact that they had occurred should have had the interviewers on high alert when employing new medical staff.
Iím from Sligo and I was first treated in the hospital there many decades ago. My main memory of that time is the great care of the medical staff and how the few administrators were practically invisible.Sanction
Now, there are almost as many administrators as medics in hospital all over the country. The managements are tripping over themselves with so much administration, most of it contributing little to medical care or knowledge.
The report on Hermann will now go to the full Medical Council which will determine any sanction.But who is going to pass judgement on the invisible people who gave her the job in Sligo?
The least that should happen is that they be removed from any position that gives them power to make further appointments in the HSE.
Patients have enough to worry about without the added concern of wondering do the doctors know their job!