Savita review a “total whitewash”

Former chair of the West Health Forum criticises disciplinary reviews

Fine Gael councillor Padraig Conneely has called the disciplinary action taken against University Hospital Galway (UHG) staff involved in the treatment of Savita Halappanavar as a “total whitewash”.

Savita, a qualified dentist, was 17 weeks pregnant when she died at UHG on 28 October 2012, seven days after being admitted for serious back pain. Despite being found to be miscarrying she was refused a termination. The autopsy found that she died of septicaemia “documented ante-mortem” and E.coli ESBL.

Nine UHG staff involved with the care of Savita have been disciplined after a case review, however none were dismissed and all staff members continue to work at the hospital. The review of the obstetrician who treated Savita, Dr Katherine Astbury, found that her care was “in keeping with the standard of care expected of any consultant obstetrician of equal skill and experience”.

However, Cllr Conneelly, former chair of the West Health Forum, said: “It’s a cop-out and a sham. The hospital had to be seen to do something after three independent reviews gave a damning review of the treatment of this young woman. But this is nowhere near sufficient.”