We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Temple Street Children's Hospital. Alamy Stock Photo
Children's spinal surgeries

Donnelly orders statutory review into use of unlicensed springs in surgeries at Temple Street

The health watchdog will also review oversight processes and governance within Children’s Health Ireland on the use of surgical implants.

THE MINISTER FOR Health has commissioned a statutory review by the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) into the use of unlicensed springs in surgeries at Temple Street Children’s Hospital in Dublin.

Stephen Donnelly has also asked Hiqa to review controls, oversight processes and governance within Children’s Health Ireland (CHI) on the use of surgical implants and implantable medical devices, including processes around regulatory requirements.

It comes after two patient advocacy groups called for a full statutory review into the HSE and CHI last week.

This review by the State’s health watchdog is in addition to a HSE-commissioned external review into into elements of paediatric care at Temple Street hospital, which will be led by Liverpool-based orthopaedic surgeon Selvadurai Nayagam.

That review was triggered by serious concerns around the post-operative outcomes of several children with serious spinal conditions who had been operated on by a surgeon at Temple Street. The surgeon is no longer performing operations.

However, the Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Paediatric Advocacy Group and the Scoliosis Advocacy Network have said they will not take part in the HSE review unless the terms of reference are broadened. 

Two CHI-commissioned internal and external reviews have also been carried out into procedures at Temple Street.

The internal CHI review and the Boston review looked at the clinical outcomes of a specific group of patients with spina bifida.

Both concluded that there was a higher rate of complications than expected. They also raised questions around culture and governance.

Last week, Donnelly expressed concern in the Dáil at the failure of these reports to uncover the fact that non-medical grade springs had been used in a small number of cases.

He has said that the terms of reference of the HSE review would be refined by Nagayam after he consulted with families who have been directly impacted and patient advocacy groups.

Two patient groups met Nayagam on Tuesday.

In a statement released following the meeting, Scoliosis Awareness and Support Ireland said they met with Nayagam for over an hour, adding: “It is imperative that the family’s voices are heard. Our families need answers.”

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.