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Spinal Surgery at Temple Street Children’s Hospital

Coleman Legal LLP can provide assistance if you have concerns about your child’s spinal surgery at Temple Street Children’s Hospital. Our experienced team specialises in medical negligence cases and will confidentially assess your situation, offering support and guidance for you and your family.

External review at Temple Street Children’s Hospital

Temple Street Children’s Hospital Author=DubhEire Date=2010-03-19

External Review into Spinal Surgeries carried out at Temple Street Children’s Hospital. The HSE has today confirmed that it has commissioned a UK expert to conduct a review into spinal surgeries carried out at Temple Street Children’s Hospital. This follows on from a previous internal review and a further external review at the hospital.

Reviews carried out so far

An internal review carried out in 2022 identified “serious spinal surgical incidents” including poor surgical outcomes in complex cases, the use of unauthorised implant devices and also the use of a particular spinal surgical technique. The external review will primarily focus on the care provided by one particular consultant based at Children’s Health Ireland (“CHI”) Temple Street. The consultant is not currently performing surgeries. A referral has also been made to the Medical Council.

You can read more on the Report of the CHI review into Spinal Surgeries in Spina Bifida patients at Temple Street here.

A second review, carried out by experts from Boston Children’s Hospital was also carried out subsequent to the CHI’s internal review. The findings of that report were published on the 20th of September 2023 following pressure from Government. This report revealed that thirteen of the sixteen children, whose cases were reviewed, required additional surgeries due to post-operative complications. You can read more on the report of Boston Children’s Hospital here.

It is understood that patient safety concerns were initially raised in late 2022 following a high incidence of post-operative infections and complications among a number of children with Spina Bifida. The CHI commissioned an internal review and also another by experts from Boston Children’s Hospital. The reviews focused on the care given to 19 children, one of whom sadly died following surgery.

Minister for Health’s statements on the Reviews at CHI Temple Street

In April 2023, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly was questioned in the Dail by Deputy Paul Murphy on the clinical review of spinal surgery at Temple Street. Minister Donnelly confirmed that CHI had confirmed to his Department that Kyphectomy (spinal alignment) surgeries were paused from the 7th of November 2022. An internal review was commenced on that date and was undertaken by a Consultant Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon and a Consultant Anaesthesiologist.

CHI later requested an external clinical review and a contract was signed with reviewers from Boston Children’s Hospital on the 23rd of March 2023.

What is the Government’s response?

In April 2023, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly was questioned in the Dail by Deputy Paul Murphy on the clinical review of spinal surgery at Temple Street.  Minister Donnelly confirmed that CHI had confirmed to his Department that Kyphectomy (spinal alignment)  surgeries were paused from the 7th of November 2022. An internal review was commenced on that date and was undertaken by a Consultant Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon and a Consultant Anaesthesiologist.

CHI later requested an external clinical review and a contract was signed with reviewers from Boston Children’s Hospital on the 23rd of March 2023. An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar expressed his deep concern at the startling revelations. Read more on the Taoiseach’s statement here.

National review to take place

The Minister of Health announced on the 20th of September 2023 that a national review of spinal surgeries on children across CHI sites would now take place. Read more about the proposed national review here.

Scope of the external review

The external review is to be carried out by a consultant in orthopaedics and trauma at the Royal Liverpool Children’s Hospital, Selvadurau Nayam. Speaking to RTE New at One on the 18th of September 2023, the HSE’s Chief Operations Officer confirmed that the review period extends back as far as 2018.

Comment from CHI Temple Street

Chief medical office of CHI, Dr. Allan Goldman stated

“We welcome the HSE’s external review. We will use the findings, in conjunction with the findings and actions from CHI’S reviews of the spinal surgery service at CHI at Temple Street, to inform our ongoing improvement programme.”

The CHI stated that it regretted the failings in the care it provided to the children. It also stated that it had met with each family involved to explain the review process. A new clinical team has also been assigned to each patient to assume their care.

Our team 

Coleman Legal LLP team

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.

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Clodagh Magennis

Clodagh Magennis

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