External review ordered into aspects of orthopaedic care at Temple Street

MBLLF have been instructed by a number of families concerning their childrens' treatment at Temple Street Hospital.

The HSE has ordered an external review into aspects of orthopaedic surgery at Temple Street Children's Hospital.

The Executive said that it will be led by a UK expert "following a number of serious spinal surgical incidents there".

The HSE has emphasised that the doctor is not currently conducting surgeries and a referral has been made to the Irish Medical Council.

The HSE said that the primary focus of the review will be the clinical care provided by an individual consultant based at Children's Health Ireland at Temple Street.

The HSE said that the review arises from very serious concerns identified by CHI since last year relating to poor surgical outcomes in spinal surgery at Temple Street, plus the use of a certain spinal technique and the use of unauthorised implantable devices.

The HSE said that late last year, senior management at CHI were made aware of patient safety concerns in relation to the treatment of a small number of patients with spina bifida who had spinal surgery at Temple Street.

These concerns related to poor clinical outcomes of some complex spinal surgery, including a high incidence of post-operative complications and infections and two particularly serious surgical incidents, which occurred in July and September last year.

The HSE said that following this, CHI commissioned two reviews, one internally and one external to CHI.

These reviews examined the care provided by one consultant to 17 children who had complex spinal surgery at Temple Street.

Of the 17 children, one child died since and a number of other children suffered significant post-operative complications.

CHI said it regrets the failings in care provided to the children and that it is engaged with the families on an ongoing basis and will continue to provide support needed.

Separately, CHI said it became aware that unauthorised devices were used in a small number of spinal surgery procedures.

In addition to the 17 patients in the reviews, CHI has met two further families affected by the issue, bringing to 19 the total number of families it has met recently.

CHI said it has met with each of the families to explain the review process and it said each of the patients have been assigned a new clinical team who will take over their care.

Reported by RTE News, September 2023

Also reported by the Irish Independent, September 2023

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