In her annual report for last year (2009), released yesterday (Thursday) the Ombudsman, Emily O´Reilly, describes nationwide hospital treatment complaints, profiled in her report, as ‘shocking and unacceptable’.

However, Ms O’Seilly stressed that while the hospital treatment cases in question were shocking, they represented only a very small proportion of all public interactions with the HSE. She was happy to point out that most people did not have cause for complaint about the actions of the HSE or any other public body.

She found that, in one instance, maternity care in Waterford Regional Hospital had been neglectful but, following her intervention, the woman was given an apology, counselling and an ex-gratia payment of €1,000.

Said The Ombudsman: “A woman complained to me about the standard of maternity care she received in Waterford Regional Hospital during the birth of her child in 2007. She claimed that she had been deprived of pain relief because the attending midwife had failed to recognise that she was in labour. Her initial complaint to the hospital had taken two years to be examined. This was done by an investigation team, in accordance with the Health Service Executive ‘Trust in Care’ policy. It found that the woman had received sub-optimal care, falling into the category of neglect.

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