Poor communications causing distress – says CEO SBHI

by Rose Barrett
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Rose Barrett

Communications and advance notice might have allayed parents’ worst fears regarding Temple Street Hospital’s recent announcement that critical spinal surgeries for children had been deferred, says Gerry Maguire, CEO of Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus Ireland (SBHI).

“We have parents coming to our staff and asking difficult questions this morning; they are traumatised and obviously distressed for their children who are awaiting these complex surgeries.

“I’m annoyed beyond belief that SBHI was not notified in advance. Keeping important information from the public and key service providers like the SBHI only leads to distressing speculation.

“We could have tried to diffuse the situation; instead, we are hearing from so many parents who are upset for their children who await these vital, life changing surgeries.

“These children are at pivotal developmental stages, and many are forced to use wheelchairs at a younger age, and to run the risk of having their disability exacerbated.

He continued: “I have been very supportive of Minister Rabbitte and Minister Donnelly – but I would like to know when they were advised of this?”

SBHI, he added, has a very active Parent’s Advocacy Group. The organisation along with parents worked hard to secure a €19m commitment from the Minister for Health last February.

“This was €19m secured specifically for spinal surgeries including scoliosis for young children, funding committed to end our children’s torture. I understand from what little communication I have received from hospital authorities that the situation will be reviewed after three weeks.

“This is not to say, that surgeries will recommence after three weeks. Again, this lack of clarity is only causing further stress to parents.”

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