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External review launched by HSE into care of children with Spina Bifida at CHI Temple Street
Coleman Legal LLP
September 18, 2023
Following a child's death during spinal surgery at Temple Street Children’s Hospital, the HSE has initiated an external review of clinical care for Spina Bifida patients led by UK expert Mr Selvadurai Nayagam.

HSE launches external review following child’s death at Temple Street Hospital

The death of a child receiving care at Temple Street Children’s Hospital has led to the establishment of an external review by the HSE. The review will investigate clinical care provided to Spina Bifida patients at the hospital.

The child passed away due to complications during spinal surgery. Other children who underwent the same surgery have suffered serious post-surgery complications.

The external review will be led by a UK expert, Mr Selvadurai Nayagam, Consultant in Orthopaedics and Trauma and Head of the Limb Reconstruction Unit at the Royal Liverpool University and Royal Liverpool Children’s Hospitals.

The review was announced after concerns were raised within the hospital last year about the clinical care of one consultant, particularly at the hospital. Among the concerns were the use of a certain spinal surgical technique and a significant number of negative post-surgery outcomes, which led to severe complications in several cases.

The consultant no longer works at CHI Temple Street, and a referral has been made to the Medical Council, encouraging an investigation. Late last year, investigations were carried out within CHI Temple Street into the care this consultant provided to 17 children.

Speaking to RTE today, HSE Chief Operations Officer Damien McCallion said the initial review identified several significant issues in post-surgery patients. Mr McCallion confirmed that the care of 19 patients is being investigated as part of the new HSE external review. He added that the patients and their families have been contacted, and follow-up care has been organised.

Mr McCallion reported that unauthorised devices had been implanted in 3 patients during spinal surgery procedures. He explained that these devices are non-certified for use in the procedure. He said two patients have subsequently had them removed.

In a statement, the HSE said:

“CHI has recently met with each of these families to explain the review process to them and, if appropriate to outline to them any issues that were identified relating to the care their child received. Each of these patients have now been assigned to a new clinical team in CHI and if they have not already met their new consultant, will be meeting the consultants who will be taking over their care later this week to review and plan their future treatment. CHI acknowledges the anxiety this news may cause our patients and their families. However, we would like to reassure our patients and their families that everybody known to have been affected has been contacted.”

Dr Allan Goldman, Chief Medical Officer of CHI said in a statement that CHI “deeply regrets the impact that the issues identified have had on patients and their families”. He further advised that the hospital welcomes the HSE’s external review

The Medical Negligence Team here at Coleman Legal LLP are highly experienced and competent in the area of clinical negligence. We will discuss your situation with you in complete confidence.

If you are concerned about the clinical care that your child received while undergoing spinal surgery in Temple Street Children’s Hospital, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.  We will advise you as to your legal rights and support you throughout the entire process. Learn more. 

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Clodagh Magennis

Clodagh Magennis

Head of Client Services

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