HSE Child Audiology Services

Question:

I read a news report about HSE plans to apologise to a number of families for failings in audiology services provided to some children. I am aware that my son’s case was audited and I believe that his care was less than exemplary. Will I be able to pursue a legal action on my son’s behalf to vindicate his rights?

Answer:

Recent news reports have confirmed that the Health Service Executive looks set to apologise to almost 50 families in the west of Ireland for serious failings in audiology services provided to their children. I understand that this apology will follow a review of paediatric audiology services provided by a particular audiologist in Mayo and Roscommon. The review covered the period from 2011 to 2015.

The review raised concerns surrounding “some aspects of the quality of the service provided” sadly leaving some children with lifelong impairments.

I believe that almost 1000 cases were examined and 49 children were found to have been affected wherein their hearing assessments did not meet national audiology standards. Sadly, such failings resulted in either “increased risk of a missed diagnosis” or “a poor outcome” for the affected children.

If your son was affected by this issue then I expect that you will receive a letter from the HSE shortly which is likely to apologise for any failings in care and for any distress caused.

If you wish to pursue a legal action on your son’s behalf then you may do so whilst he is a child i.e. under the age of 18 years. Your son may initiate legal proceedings in his own right once he turns 18 years old.

Should you wish to contact Niall Cunningham or Dolores Gacquin at Byrne Carolan Cunningham LLP Solicitors Medical Negligence Department for advice, we would be happy to talk to you in confidence and without obligation. This firm has very extensive experience in dealing with impaired hearing cases over many years.

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