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Dublin: 12 °C Thursday 23 October, 2014

HSE promises to be “very public” in its progress on Savita report

The executive said that the team looking at Hiqa’s recommendations will report “on a very frequent basis” but that at present “it’s very early days”.

Abortion rights protesters bearing pictures of Savita Halappanavar march through central Dublin last year.
Abortion rights protesters bearing pictures of Savita Halappanavar march through central Dublin last year.
Image: AP Photo/Shawn Pogatchnik

Updated 11pm

THE HSE SAID today  that the team set up to implement changes as a result of the death of Savita Halappanavar will issue updates on their progress “on a very frequent basis”.

HSE director general Tony O’Brien said today that the team will issue updates to him directly and that he in turn will brief Minister for Health James Reilly.

O’Brien promised that they will be “very public” about how the process is proceeding but that at present “it’s very early days” following last week’s publication of the the Hiqa report.

The HSE also committed to the recommendations being  implemented across all 19 maternity hospitals.

Speaking before the Oireachtas Health Committee today, O’Brien said that he only designated Ian Carter to head to team looking at the Hiqa report earlier this week.

The team had been considering the two previous reports but will now be expanded to oversee the implementation of HIQA’s recommendations:

An implementation team was established by the HSE in anticipation of the findings of the three reports. This team is currently overseeing the implementation of the recommendations from the Coroner and Prof. Sir Arulkumaran’s report. I have now directed that this team’s work be expanded to include the findings of the HIQA report to ensure that lessons from her death are applicable nationally.

Savita Halappanavar died as a result of sepsis contracted during a miscarriage at University Hospital Galway in October of last year.

Director of patient safety at the HSE Dr Philip Crowley was also present at today’s health committee and said that there is a need to develop national guidelines on the treatment of sepsis. He added that a group has been set up to look at implementing these guidelines but that decisions needed to be made on what resources the group will receive to implement them.

Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act

Separately, James Reilly said that the implementation of the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act will be ready by the end of the year.

Speaking to the committee Labour TD Ciara Conway said that both hospital staff and women in dangerous situations are being “left in limbo” by the delay in commencing the legislation.

Conway asked Minister Reilly to provide a timeline for when the updated laws will be in place with Reilly responding that the act “will be ready by years-end in terms of its implementability”.

A committee established to look at the practical procedures of implementing the act first met in September and were given three months to complete their work.

First published 2.19pm

Read: Lack of information means HIQA can’t assure safety of maternity services >

Read: ‘Disturbing similarities’ between Savita and Tania McCabe deaths >

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