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Cullinane requests Oireachtas Health Committee examine serious issues at mortuary at UHW

26 April, 2019 - by David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin TD for Waterford David Cullinane has written to the Chair of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health asking that the committee fully examine serious issues raised by four consultant pathologists in a letter to the South/Southwest Hospital Group, saying there are serious questions to be answered by hospital management, the hospital group, and the HSE.

Deputy Cullinane and his Oireachtas colleagues in Waterford have arranged a meeting with hospital management and the CEO of the South/Southwest Hospital Group next Monday. He said he will be demanding answers as to why no bereaved families were ever informed of the poor circumstances at the mortuary and why was this hidden from families of the deceased.  

Speaking today, Deputy Cullinane said:

“Issues raised by four consultant pathologists at UHW regarding substandard facilities at the mortuary in Waterford has horrified and shocked people across the region. 

“The shocking revelation that bodies were left on hospital trolleys to decompose due to an absence of proper refrigeration facilities is beyond appalling. The consultant pathologists also claim that bodies were so badly decomposed due to poor facilities that bereaved families were unable to wake their loved ones in open caskets. 

“Families are quite rightly demanding answers. I was horrified to hear that no risk incident reports were ever recorded at the hospital nor was any bereaved family ever informed of the circumstances at the mortuary. Was there not a policy of open disclosure in place and what exactly was the reporting procedures or mechanisms in place to record, log and manage these appalling instances? 

“Today, I have written to the Chair of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health Michael Harty asking that the committee carry out an examination into these very serious claims. In the first instance, this should involve a hearing with UHW management, the South/Southwest Hospital Group, the lead pathologist at UHW, the HSE, and the Department.” 

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