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west/north west

Review of maternity services shelved in wake of hospital chair's resignation

It had previously sparked fears that many of these units in the West/North West group would close.

A REVIEW OF maternity services in the West/North West Hospitals Group has been suspended.

It comes just weeks after group chairman Noel Daly resigned following revelations that a company he founded was appointed to carry out the review of the hospitals.

The review will now form part of a national review of maternity services.

“We will, of course, continue to implement the recommendations of the HIQA and other reviews where possible and considerable progress has been made in this regard,” group CEO Bill Maher said.

The review had sparked fears that many of these units would close.

“Flawed”

Independent TD for Roscommon-South Leitrim Denis Naughten has welcomed the announcement, describing the report as “flawed from the start”.

“I previously outlined that I cannot understand how consultants could produce a report that came out so negatively considering that Portiuncula is the safest hospital, one of the most efficient and the second biggest in the hospital group,” he said this afternoon.

Minister for Health James Reilly came under fire in recent weeks after it emerged that Noel Daly set up D & F Health Partnership Ltd with Deirdre Foley Woods in 2008 – the company that was appointed to carry out the review of services.

Resignation

Upon his appointment to the hospital group by Reilly, Daly had resigned as chair of the Health Partnership.

He retained a 50 per cent share in the company but the hospital group said he has received “no financial reward of any kind from the company since his retirement in December 2011″ and “remains committed to disposing of his shares”.

Following his resignation, border member Dr John Killeen took over the role on an interim basis.

Deputy Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan previously claimed that staff at Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe were “warned” not to reveal the closure of maternity services at the hospital until after the local elections.

Additional reporting by Órla Ryan

Read: Chairman of West/Northwest Hospital Group resigns over ‘conflict of interest’ >

More: James Reilly denies there was conflict of interest in maternity services review >

Ming: Hospital staff warned not to reveal ‘maternity unit closure until after elections’ >

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