HSE: Disciplinary action will be taken at Portlaoise if necessary

The HSE's Chief Operational Officer said disciplinary action will be taken "where warranted" over the deaths of four newborn babies at Portlaoise Hospital.

Laverne McGuinness is taking questions about a report into the deaths published by the Department of Health's Chief Medical Officer last week.

It found that families and patients were treated in a poor and at times "appalling manner", and that maternity care was not safe or sustainable.

Laverne McGuinness said the Health Service has launched its own review into concerns raised by the report, and action will be taken if necessary.

"The HSE wishes to make it clear that it will take appropriate disciplinary action against staff members should the review deem that such action is warranted."

"This report has revealed unacceptable failings, and I want to reassure you and the community served by Portlaoise hospital that we will work with the new management and the staff in the hospital to make sure that these failings do not happen again."

Meanwhile, the Minister for Health, James Reilly, said the report will ensure better care across the Health Service.

"I'd like to reiterate my thanks … to the families who, in the face of their individual tragedies had the courage and tenacity to ensure that their babies' stories were heard.

"I want assure those families that we have listened, we have learned, and we are fully committed to embedding that learning in all of our health services."

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