From top: Editorial in yesterday’s Sunday Times, and Professor Chris Fitzpatrick, former master of the Coombe hospital
You may recall the plans to move the National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street to a site next to St Vincent’s University Hospital so that they can share a campus in Elm Park, Dublin.
Yesterday the Sunday Times reported that the Religious Sisters of Charity-owned St Vincent’s Healthcare Group (SVHG) is demanding that the National Maternity Hospital agrees to “become a branch of its corporate structure” before allowing the planned co-location to go ahead.
Further to this, Professor and consultant obstetrician/gynaecologist at the Coombe Hospital in Dublin Chris Fitzpatrick, spoke to Keelin Shanley on Today with Seán O’Rourke.
During their discussion, Professor Fitzpatrick said:
“I think that in terms of St Vincent’s Hospital, in the interests of patient safety that, in the context of co-location that the National Maternity Hospital should remain a clinical and corporate entity. Now there are huge advantages in relation to St Vincent’s Hospital taking on board the National Maternity Hospital, in terms of providing the full range of comprehensive care, from birth right through to old age. I think they are huge advantages in terms of the research, education and training synergies. But in the interest of patient safety, and with the greatest respect St Vincent’s Hospital do not have a track record in providing maternity and neonatal services, I think in the interest of patient safety that the National Maternity Hospital should be in a position to retain its corporate and clinical governance structures. In the interest of patient safety and I think that is the, that is to the forefront of all of these considerations.”
“…There’s been a long track record of underinvestment and de-prioritisation of services for mothers and babies. Moving into a big adult complex, healthcare complex, where there are competitive demands, I think it is really important that decisions made in relation to care being provided for mothers and babies are made by those who are best equipped to make those decisions…and these cases have been highlighted in the media recently.”
“There are also increasing ethical considerations that need to be taken into account in relation to complex issues in pregnancy. And I think, in the interest of mothers, that those decisions at a clinical and corporate level are best taken by those who have a long experience in making those decisions and providing those services… and that experience does not exist in general hospitals.”
“In relation to gynaecology services, where women are accessing gynaecology services in general hospitals, in Vincent’s, in James’s, in the Mater, because of competitive demands, many women are now actually moving from those hospitals into the maternity hospitals simply because of the fact that these services have been de-prioritised on the adult services.”
“…This project is ready to go to planning. I think the taxpayer and also mothers and women will not tolerate business issues bogging down a process that should be accelerated.”
Listen back in full here