Mary Harney: ordered probe

An investigation by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) into the standard of care provided at Ennis hospital is nearing completion.

This is more than four months after the Minister for Health, Mary Harney TD, announced that she had ordered the probe following the emergence of two breast cancer misdiagnoses at the hospital.

However, it remains unclear when the findings of the review will be published, prompting some concerns that it may be the subject of significant delays.

A spokesman for HIQA told the Sunday Tribune that the "substantive part" of the investigation has been completed, and revealed that it had not been deemed necessary to extend its remit beyond Ennis General Hospital, as allowed for under its terms of reference.

He said that the draft report of the investigation, which is due to be compiled in the coming weeks, will then be placed before HIQA's board, after which any necessary amendments and legal considerations which it recommends will be incorporated.

Following this, he said it would be placed again before HIQA's board, and a decision will then be taken on when it will be published. However, he said he "could not give a timeline" for publication.

"I cannot give an exact date until our board gives approval to the draft report and the final report," he said. "When the board has approved it, the report will come out, and not before then."

Karl Henry, whose wife Ann Moriarty was one of two women who died after they received a late diagnosis of breast cancer at Ennis hospital, told the Sunday Tribune that he wished to see the report published as soon as possible.

"I await with apprehension the publication of the report, and I would be concerned that I will not have the answers that I seek," he said. "This is because within the terms of reference of the investigation, the specific answers I need in relation to my wife's case may not be addressed."