Press release

HSE statement in response to statement from The Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus Paediatric Advocacy Group and The Scoliosis Advocacy Network

Published: 22 September 2023

Updated: 31 January 2024


The HSE and CHI acknowledge the deep distress experienced by children with spina bifida and scoliosis and their families. We further acknowledge and apologise very sincerely for the huge additions to this distress caused by the unacceptably long waiting lists for surgery, and the failings in the care we have provided to these children which have been the subject of recent reports.

The external review was commissioned by the HSE following the completion of reports by CHI. It will not be conducted by the HSE or CHI but by Dr Selvadurai Nagayam, entirely independent of us. Its terms of reference are broad, and they allow for review of the governance of the Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgery Service, implications for service capacity and access, the delivery of the current agreed plans and other matters.

You can find the terms of reference on the HSE website: Terms of Reference for Review of the Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgery Service at CHI (PDF, 667 KB, 5 pages)

We understand the advocacy groups’ deep frustration and anger and we understand that the Minister for Health has offered to meet them. If the groups would find it useful, the CEO of the HSE Mr Bernard Gloster would be very happy to meet them.


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