Denis Naughten TD has today (Monday) written to Minister Varadkar expressing serious concerns that the parents at the centre of the Portiuncula Hospital inquiry are being dragged into what can only be described as a “sinister medical politics plot”.
“The parents at the centre of the Portiuncula Inquiry deserve the truth as to what happened to their babies and any inquiry must not be tainted by an ulterior motive regarding medical services,” stated Denis Naughten.
Last Friday at a meeting with senior management of the Saolta Hospital group it was disclosed that the review of the baby cases was leaked from “an unmarked” IP address to all media outlets in a coordinated manner.
As a result parents were faced with the additional trauma of having to read and hear about the inquiry through the media before formal contact was made by the inquiry team.
“Combined with the reiteration over the last four months by senior management of the Saolta group (even as late as last Thursday) that the previous reconfiguration report of maternity services was still very much on the agenda despite a direction from both Minister Reilly & Varadkar to the contrary, this leaves very serious questions to be answered,” said Denis Naughten.
“Last June, the Saolta Hospital Group was forced to withdraw a plan which would have seen the maternity unit at Portiuncula Hospital closed, after the disclosure of a direct link between the consultants who carried out the report and the then Chairman of the Saolta Group.
“The parents at the centre of this inquiry deserve the truth of what happened in their cases but sadly it is my genuine fear that they are now being used as pawns to meet a wider agenda and this is both immoral and unacceptable.
“As a result of my serious concerns, I have written to Minister Varadkar stating that it is now my firm belief that the Saolta management is compromised and should have no role whatsoever in the establishment of the inquiry into Portiuncula Hospital.
“In the interest of the parents involved, the staff at the hospital and parents about to use the service, this investigation must be focused on what happened, how it happened and what can be done to reduce the possibility of any such serious incidents happening again.
“I firmly believe that this is the only way to ensure that parents get the full truth as to what exactly happened to their babies and what lessons were learned from previous serious incidents and deaths to ensure such issues will not be repeated,” concluded Denis Naughten.