Pathological Behaviour

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Darren Skelton, of the Waterford News and Star with Taoisech Leo Varadkar; a letter sent by four consultant pathologists to the CEO of the South/South West Hospital Group  Gerry O’Dwyer last October (click to enlarge)

This morning.

Waterford News and Star journalist Darren Skelton published the letter sent by four pathologists to the CEO of the South/South West Hospital Group Gerry O’Dwyer last October – in which they raised serious concerns about the mortuary in University Hospital Waterford.

Mr Skelton was denied access to the letter when he sought under the Freedom of Information Act but sourced it by other means.

Since he reported on the letter last week, the hospital group has issued a statement to say, among other things, that there is “no evidence” to support the claims made by the pathologists and that no staff member ever made any complaint about the mortuary’s conditions.

Not long after this, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said “no evidence has been brought forward to support” the claims, before adding “certainly those who made them [the claims] haven’t put forward any evidence”.

Mr Skelton had the opportunity to question and challenge the Taoiseach directly about this assertion on Tuesday and Mr Varadkar told him “without me knowing all the facts, or you knowing all the facts, it would be incorrect to come to a judgement”.

Yesterday, the Irish Hospital Consultants Association released a statement saying it was “alarmed” by the Government’s response to the pathologists’ concerns.

They also said the response from the health service management was “disappointing”.

The pathologists “repeatedly” raised their concerns to management “over a lengthy period”, the group said.

Specifically, the IHCA said: “The response by Government to question the validity of these concerns rather than tackling the issue in a much more timely manner is disappointing.”

Mr Skelton explains his reasons for publishing the letters in full below…

Previously: Dying On Air

‘Ill-Judged And Inaccurate’

The Dead Can Wait

UPDATE:

9 thoughts on “Pathological Behaviour

  1. eoin

    This is pretty scandalous stuff. Reading that letter, you’d think with those four professionals signing it, it would at least have been acknowledged within six months.

    1. Mickey Twopints

      Why? The “service users” are regularly ignored for much longer periods. You know, those people the health service is supposed to serve.

  2. GiggidyGoo

    Looks like Baradkar is heading to be the first Taoiseach to lose his seat in a general election. His passing the book and ‘look over there’ and ‘I didn’t know when i opened my gob’ defenses are getting quite wearing.

    1. Spaghetti Hoop

      Yeah but will the electorate recognise this? It’s weird – at the leadership contest for which the Irish people had no say in, I thought Coveney was the out-of-touch bumbling fool.

      1. Rob_G

        “… at the leadership contest for which the Irish people had no say in. “

        Well, it was the leadership of the FG party; it would be weird if they asked non-FG members who they wanted to lead the party.

        1. Spaghetti Hoop

          I was implying that we got a Taoiseach whom we will soon have the opportunity to dethrone once a general election is called.

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