Internal review undertaken at Crumlin Children's Hospital over spinal surgeries

Internal Review Undertaken At Crumlin Children's Hospital Over Spinal Surgeries
Dr David Moore said the review was carried out so information on clinical standards of care and governance would be available should they be requested.
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Vivienne Clarke

An internal review at Crumlin Children’s Hospital regarding spinal surgery outcomes has been undertaken, according to consultant orthopaedic surgeon and head of orthopaedics at Children’s Health Ireland, Dr David Moore.

He added that the review was carried out so information on clinical standards of care and governance would be available should they be requested as a result of issues raised at another hospital.


Speaking on RTÉ radio’s Today with Claire Byrne show, Dr Moore acknowledged that the news of the review would create an "unnecessary amount of anxiety and angst in patients who think that there's something wrong".

"It would have been nice to have had the time to contact patients and explain how and why the review was being carried out, and if it did or did not affect their children, but we weren't given that time because of the pressure that was put on us by the media to publish the report before we had time to do that."

There was no patient who should be worried or feel that something bad had happened because the review was being conducted, he said, adding there should not be any worry that information about their standard of care or any other information was being kept from them.

Dr Moore said if every time an audit or report was being conducted, patients had to be phoned, then the process would be hamstrung.


"Of course we inform them if there are any problems, but that's not the way that we would be able in any way to carry on the normal practice."


The decision to carry out the internal review had been taken because Crumlin Children’s Hospital was conscious of the fact that "eventually someone would ask the question, quite reasonably, whether if something had been going on in one hospital, there were similar problems in another".

The internal review in Crumlin used the same parameters as that of the review in the other hospital, he said.

However, Dr Moore stressed that staff in Crumlin did not have any concerns about their own record.


"That was one of the questions we asked at the time. Has anyone got any concerns? Has anyone flagged any high rate of complications with this small group of patients compared to other standards? And that was not the case.

"So, no, it wasn't that anyone had flagged anything. It was purely because we thought it would be prudent to have the information, I suppose, for occasions such as this."

There was no external oversight of the Crumlin review, Dr Moore noted, but said the hospital would cooperate fully if an external review were to take place.

"The public should be reassured about the fantastic work that goes on in all the children’s hospitals," he said.


"Unless a proper and ongoing examination is carried out it will be difficult to regain trust, but the review must look at everything from the resources available, the facilities available, the human resources available, and I think it should be seen in context."

Dr Moore said, at present, Intensive Care Unit beds in Crumlin were not a problem. "Our problems are our access to theatre, our number of beds on the ward and most importantly, the nursing staff that goes with that," he explained.

While the facilities at the new children’s hospital were eagerly awaited, Dr Moore said the ICU in Crumlin is "more akin to the Starship Enterprise with the facilities that are there".

"It is fantastic, but there are a limited number of beds," he added.

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