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)
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