Press Release

Micheál Martin TD, Minister for Health and Children publishes the Report of the Independent Review Panel concerning the circumstances surrounding the death of baby Bronagh Livingstone

Micheál Martin TD, Minister for Health and Children this evening (December 20, 2002) published the Report of the Independent Review Panel concerning the circumstances surrounding the death of baby Bronagh Livingstone. The Minister also published the Report of the North Eastern Health Board and all other relevant documentation and appendices.

The Minister again wishes to convey his deepest sympathy to the Livingstone family on the death of baby Bronagh.

The Minister notes that the conclusions of the Independent Review Panel are at variance with the findings of the North Eastern Health Board´s Report. Having reviewed the NEHB Report and interviewed the relevant parties, the Independent Review Panel concluded that Bronagh Livingstone’s birth was imminent shortly after she arrived at Monaghan General Hospital. Consequently no attempt should have been made to transfer Ms Livingstone to Cavan General Hospital prior to delivery. Instead a team from CGH or our Lady of Lourdes,Drogheda should have been requested to come to MGH as quickly as possible. In conjunction with this request; personnel such as the Consultant Anaesthetist on call should have been brought in, and the equipment existing in MGH should have been mobilised to stabilize the baby in the event of its delivery and prior to its transfer to a tertiary care facility. A similar event had occurred previously at MGH and is common practice in such obstetric emergencies in hospitals where a maternity service is not available.

The Report of the Independent Review Panel suggests that there are a range of factors in Monaghan Hospital which may influence the actions of individual practitioners in a way not conducive to optimal care. A number of management and /or organisational weaknesses have also been identified. The Report points to the need for a more active and participative approach in the management of the hospital.

The Minister has appointed a Management Consultant, Mr. Kevin Bonnar (former Secretary General of the Department of Enterprise and Employment) to work with the Board in addressing this requirement. The terms of reference for Mr. Bonnar are:

  • To assist and work with the Board in implementing the findings of the Report of the Independent Review Panel
  • To recommend an appropriate management structure for Monaghan Hospital and assist the Board in implementing the structure
  • To facilitate the resolution of outstanding issues pertaining to the provision of services at Monaghan Hospital, with particular references to emergencies

This project will embrace conflict resolution processes, addressing internal relationships between key staff and external relationships with the local community and other stakeholders. The Minister will be meeting with the North Eastern Health Board to discuss the Report.

Mr. Bonnar will report on a regular basis to the North Eastern Health Board and to the Minister.