Outspoken Independent councillor Michael Kilcoyne has hit out at management at HSE West for forking out €20,000 for a faulty review of maternity services in the region.
The review, which caused a storm of controversy when it suggested the downgrading of maternity services at a number of hospitals in the North/North West Hospitals Group, including those at Mayo General Hospial, has now been shelved.
Cllr Kilcoyne advised it had been put aside because the correct tendering process was not undertaken in appointing the consultants who carried out the review.
The review of maternity services in the region will now be included in an overall national maternity review.
However Cllr Kilcoyne stressed that maternity services at Mayo General Hospital still have not been safeguarded against possible future downgrading.
“I’m glad to see an end of this review but the fact that it did exist and the fact that it said what it said, it causes me great concern,” he outlined.
“I am concerned the national review will perhaps take some account of it. So I am seeking absolute assurances there won’t be any negative effects on services at Mayo General Hospital under the national review.”
Cllr Kilcoyne acts as a Mayo representative on the regional health forum for the west.
He has requested the terms of reference for the national review be circulated to the forum members.
Earlier this week, Bill Maher, Group CEO of the West/North West Hospitals Group, confirmed the regional review has been halted and subsumed into the national maternity review, led by the Department of Health.
“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,” he stated.
Mr Maher also said a new group director of midwifery servces had been appointed and would take up duty shortly.
He added, “this is a further demonstration of the group’s commitment to ensuring that all women accessing our maternity services receive best care from the most appropriate professional in the most appropriate setting.”