Serious failings in audiology services provided to children in Mayo are uncovered

SERIOUS failings in audiology services provided to children in Mayo and Roscommon has been uncovered by RTÉ Investigates.

As a result, the HSE is to apologise to almost 50 families following the completion of a look-back review of paediatric audiology services provided in more than 900 cases by one audiologist.

The HSE carried out the review of services provided in Mayo and Roscommon from 2011 to 2015 as a result of concerns around "some aspects of the quality of the service provided," leaving some children with lifelong impairments.

RTÉ Investigates reported that the individual in question worked in the Mayo/Roscommon area for over a ten-year period from the early 2000s providing services to young children.

Of the more than 900 cases examined, 49 children have been found to be affected.

According to RTÉ, The HSE is expected to write to these families in the coming days to provide them with details of the report and RTÉ understands the letters will also acknowledge that the failings identified either "increased the risk of a missed diagnosis" or "a poor outcome" for the affected children.

The clinical team which undertook the review found that in the cases examined hearing assessments conducted did not meet national audiology standards.

The HSE said all affected children who required a recall have been offered follow-up appointments and in the majority of cases those clinical follow-ups have been accepted.

The HSE added any children identified as needing further interventions have now been prioritised and treated in a timely manner.

The report also includes various recommendations around learning and necessary changes to practices and procedures that are to be implemented at both a local and national level.

RTÉ Investigates also discovered the audiologist at the centre of the report may also have worked in other parts of the country outside the Mayo and Roscommon areas.

It is understood the audiologist has been suspended from practising in Ireland and no longer provides services in this country.