HSE and Hospitals stonewalling on mistakes



gleeful

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https://www.rte.ie/news/courts/2017/1215/927626-aibha-conroy/

or

https://www.rte.ie/news/courts/2017/1025/915146-baby-death-cavan/

Kind of suprised that there is no thread on the above. Hospital makes a mistake, patient dies or is incapacitated and all the professionals close ranks behind the mistake to whitewash or repress it.
Of course they do. The alternative is to spend years and millions of Euro in the courts, making legal professionals rich and draining staff and funding from the hospitals.
 

Rory Buckley

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Quiz

Can you name the Irish Primary health-care service where, at a first appointment, the Provider’s job changed, from examining the patient’s needs, to examining the patient’s suitability for teaching needs?
 

*EPIC SUCCESS*

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Of course they do. The alternative is to spend years and millions of Euro in the courts, making legal professionals rich and draining staff and funding from the hospitals.
Huh?

The stonewalling is what causes the above. If people were held accountable from the start then there wouldn't be long, drawn out cases that usually end up with a forced apology and a huge payout - also years of additional suffering for the people affected.
 

mr_anderson

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There was a very good TED talk by a doctor on this.
On phone so not going to look for it.
His point was that doctors are human, they make mistakes and it's best for everyone if admission is made promptly.
 

drjimryan2

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accepting the liability, late in the day, in clear cut cases, is a strange strategy indeed.....
 

Disillusioned democrat

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Huh?

The stonewalling is what causes the above. If people were held accountable from the start then there wouldn't be long, drawn out cases that usually end up with a forced apology and a huge payout - also years of additional suffering for the people affected.
I don't really think so, to be honest.

In the end it's always abject apologies and respectable settlements so you have to wonder why, and the answer, I firmly believe, is in the legal side.

Either intentionally to keep themselves busy/wealthy or because ideologically there's a real "legal" battle to be won it's the legal wranglings and hair splitting that takes the time.

Ireland is almost as lawyered up as the US, the courts are out the door and I've yet to meet a poor barrister.

Take the lawyers out of the situation and cases would be resolved far quicker.
 

gleeful

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Huh?

The stonewalling is what causes the above. If people were held accountable from the start then there wouldn't be long, drawn out cases that usually end up with a forced apology and a huge payout - also years of additional suffering for the people affected.
Most stonewalled cases are abandoned and people move on. We only hear about the ones where the wronged party fought for years.

You have to also remember that most cases are minor and there are a lot of people out there making a living out of being victims. They find themselves in accidents several times a year, sue, and get money out of court.

If the hospitals didnt stonewall, these professional victims would clean out the HSE completely.
 

*EPIC SUCCESS*

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I don't really think so, to be honest.

In the end it's always abject apologies and respectable settlements so you have to wonder why, and the answer, I firmly believe, is in the legal side.

Either intentionally to keep themselves busy/wealthy or because ideologically there's a real "legal" battle to be won it's the legal wranglings and hair splitting that takes the time.

Ireland is almost as lawyered up as the US, the courts are out the door and I've yet to meet a poor barrister.

Take the lawyers out of the situation and cases would be resolved far quicker.
Perhaps an independent body that can assess these issues, although I have little faith in this happening?

Most stonewalled cases are abandoned and people move on. We only hear about the ones where the wronged party fought for years.

You have to also remember that most cases are minor and there are a lot of people out there making a living out of being victims. They find themselves in accidents several times a year, sue, and get money out of court.

If the hospitals didnt stonewall, these professional victims would clean out the HSE completely.
I am talking specifically about cases where someone dies or suffering from a drastically life changing condition as a result of negligence, not the minor cases. The OP specifically mentions these but as usual someone has to do a whatabout.

If your child dies as a result of negligence on the part of the hospital staff, you are not going to give up and if it emerges that the hospital knew all along it was their fault, then the legal wrangling is pointless.

Whatever about someone not liking how their scar reacts to fake tan or whatever, we are talking about the very serious cases, not some chancer trying their luck.
 

artfoley56

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yosef shompeter

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I'm not an expert or insider on this by any means, but a snatch of a conversation I had once with an anesthetist (the chap that knocks you out before the operation and brings you back (hopefully) after it) he said that the medical procedures are intertwined with the legal procedures when he's doing the job... so as to cover his ass so-to speak for the event that if something does go wrong... consultants pay large premiums to their insurance to cover these unforeseen events.
 

Deadlock

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I wonder about the caliber of people doing the recruiting and how low a bench mark is set for medics. Recently I had a consultation as a public patient, with what I assume was a junior member of my Consultants team or some sort of intern, anyway long story short, she chewed gum the entire way through the consultation, including the physical exam. Who is teaching them, and no surprises she wasn't Irish. Maybe it's a cultural thing, maybe nobody is allowed to comment negatively on anything negative that they do for fear of ''racism''.
Big assumption on my part here - but I'm going to assume that you were not having your mouth examined by this person?

Because otherwise you'd surely have opened it up and told her "Here, that's damned rude, and probably unsanitary. Spit that crap out and speak to me properly."

If you put up with shoddy treatment, whatever the source, you probably deserve it.
 

Noble Guardian

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I'm not an expert or insider on this by any means, but a snatch of a conversation I had once with an anesthetist (the chap that knocks you out before the operation and brings you back (hopefully) after it) he said that the medical procedures are intertwined with the legal procedures when he's doing the job... so as to cover his ass so-to speak for the event that if something does go wrong... consultants pay large premiums to their insurance to cover these unforeseen events.
To clarify, a lot of what is done in medicine is specifically to ensure that, if things do go tits-up, at least you can say you went by the book.
Another term for this is "defensive medicine", AKA "you're more likely to be sued for the procedure you didn't do than the one you did"

(I'm a retired medic)
 

firefly123

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It's not just a HSE thing. It's a cultural reaction across Irish society especially in public service. If you try to highlight a wrong chances are you will be stonewalled and marked out as trouble. The wagons circle immediately.
 

sadmal

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I wonder about the caliber of people doing the recruiting and how low a bench mark is set for medics. Recently I had a consultation as a public patient, with what I assume was a junior member of my Consultants team or some sort of intern, anyway long story short, she chewed gum the entire way through the consultation, including the physical exam. Who is teaching them, and no surprises she wasn't Irish. Maybe it's a cultural thing, maybe nobody is allowed to comment negatively on anything negative that they do for fear of ''racism''.
TBF pumpkinpie you do seem to have a problem with anyone who isn't Irish and your posts reflect this problem. Regardless of topic you bring race or religion into it. After a while a pattern emerges which is obvious for others to see.
 

Ardillaun

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Error is everywhere, in every country, in every line of work. The reason why massive reviews occur in a discipline like radiology is because they are easy to do. Imagine trying to make your way through 40,000 psychiatry consults and figuring out if mistakes were made - you'd never be finished because nobody really knows the correct answers. Irish radiology services should be delivered through one integrated national electronic system. That way a backlog at one site could be detected and rapidly seen elsewhere. QA would also be easier too if a small percentage of reported cases were constantly reviewed by a second radiologist off-site esp. cases reported as negative preceding positives.

And I don't know how anyone can be persuaded to pursue a career in obstetrics in Ireland given the current attitude to the inevitable bad outcomes. It's always somebody's fault even when it isn't plus you have to listen to solicitors reaching for the most absurd adjectives possible to describe health care professionals doing their best.
 
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Noble Guardian

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It's a fool's errand to try and distil the process of medical diagnosis and treatment down to a digestible summary. Being a fool, however, here goes.

There used be an old TV game show called "What's my line". In that game, the participant has a particular job (obviously known to tem) and the players have a certain number of yes/no questions to ask to try and guess what that job is. If they couldn't successfully deduce the job in the allotted time, they lost.

Medical diagnosis is a bit like this. A patient comes to you with a problem. The problem is real, but they don't know what it is. They just know how it is making them feel (sick, sad, sore, whatever), or what physical effects it is having (vomiting, skin lesions, that sort of thing). They might have a guess on hat it might be, based on what they have heard about or what they have recently done. These guesses, by their nature, are speculative at best, unlike the game, where they definitely know what their job is.

The medic has a limited amount of time and resource to try and narrow down the list of possible things which might be causing their problem. The first step is to ask questions (how long, constant or intermittent, things making it worse or better), to get a description of the problem. The questions asked depend on the training and experience of that medic; a neurologist might ask different questions to a surgeon, as they have different things on their mind when they hear “headache”, for example). The adage “you only find what you look for, and you only look for what you know”, was taught in medical school, and is still true today. Adding to this, you are asking a patient to describe things they are feeling, which is something they might not have either the vocabulary or self-awareness to do accurately. As a result, you have to try an interpret their answers, again through the subjective filter of you training and experience.

A the end of this process, necessarily limited by time, you end up with list of possible diagnoses, each with an observer-assessed [probability of being right or wrong. You then consider if there are any medical tests which might increase or decrease the probability of the various items on the list (the “rule in/Rule out” phase, a terrible phrase, BTW, s you can never fully rule something out). The tests themselves, as I pointed out earlier, are themselves prone to giving true or false results, both from the ability of the test to give clear data, and the ability of the person reviewing the results to interpret those data. Case in point is the recent radiology situation in Kerry, where the scan was probably carried out properly from a technical perspective l (not blurry, for example), but the images were either prone to multiple interpretations ("beautiful image, but what the hell am I looking at?") or were misinterpreted (either positively or negatively). In any case, at the end of each test you get a result (right or wrong) which changes your perception of the probability of a particular diagnosis. It doesn’t change the objective truth of what the patient has, just what you think they have. This entire process can be repeated several times if the medic feels it necessary for them to decide on what the patient probably has, and what treatment options they will recommend. I’m not going to get into treatment, as that’s a different topic, albeit one subject to the same general risks and uncertainties.

As can be seen, all diagnosis is framed in uncertainty. You might be correct, recommend the correct treatment and the patient gets better. You might be wrong, recommend treatment which has no effect, but the patient gets better anyway as the problem resolves naturally. You might be correct, recommend the correct treatment but the patient gets worse for some reason specific to them (allergy, perhaps), or any combination of the above. They best we can do is try to ask the right questions, be wary of false certainty and revisit diagnoses frequently enough to catch unexpected changes.
 

yosef shompeter

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What ever happened about the last big mess up over the MRI's? That story broke like this one about tens of thousands of scans potentially needing to be redone and then the story disappeared. Very worrying that this isn't an isolated incident.
Well there was some story on the radio I believe where one consultant ... or locum was it? had examined 46,000 x-rays in 8 months which is ca. 8 times the number that is considered feasible in this interval of time. I wonder why thy don't name him/her. After all he, she has the chance to rebutt the alleged allegation being made.
transparency ain't a strongpoint here.
 

damus

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Big assumption on my part here - but I'm going to assume that you were not having your mouth examined by this person?

Because otherwise you'd surely have opened it up and told her "Here, that's damned rude, and probably unsanitary. Spit that crap out and speak to me properly."

If you put up with shoddy treatment, whatever the source, you probably deserve it.
Like f*ck you do. There are many reasons why people do not complain but that in no way means that they deserve it if they choose to remain silent.
 


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