A couple who lost two babies, born at Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe, have been told the deaths will now be investigated as part of a review into maternity services there.

Lorraine and Warren Reilly, from Loughrea, Co Galway, had asked the Health Service Executive to widen its inquiry to look into the deaths of their two daughters at the hospital. 

Mr Reilly said the HSE had contacted his solicitor today to confirm their cases will be examined. 

The Reillys had previously said they did not expect to have their cases included in the review because they fell outside the set time frame. 

The terms of reference for the inquiry are expected to be published shortly. 

The review originally planned to examine two babies who died at birth and five cases where babies were seriously deprived of oxygen at birth over a ten-month period between February and November last year.

The HSE Saolta University Health Care Group, which manages the hospital, had said that if the terms of reference were to be extended to include other families, they would be shared with them in advance of publication.

The group will meet six other families next week.

Earlier, it emerged that the Reillys had been provided with an internal hospital review into their second daughter's death, more than three years after it was completed.

Baby Amber Reilly died in February 2010 after suffering oxygen deprivation at birth.

She was rushed to the National Maternity Hospital in Holles Street in Dubin for head cooling treatment but passed away six days later.

The report into Amber's death highlights a number of concerns about the treatment Ms Reilly received at the hospital in February 2010.

It found that while she was "high risk", midwives did not inform the obstetrician of her arrival or on the progress of her labour.

It also found that a medical registrar and a clinical midwife failed to accurately interpret CTG readings of Amber's heartbeat as labour progressed.

It highlighted that the registrar in question did not follow advice or discuss options for Ms Reilly, despite a midwife becoming "increasingly uneasy" about the decisions made and treatments being ordered.

Despite an order to bring Ms Reilly to theatre, the review found the registrar "chose to continue with his impression of the progression of the mother's labour and provide care and treatment in the labour ward".

The review found the consultant had to divert from theatre for the labour ward on his arrival at the hospital.

The report makes a number of recommendations, which include the further training of staff, better record keeping and better communication but it stated that the risks of a similar untoward event occurring have been reduced.

HSE Director General Tony O'Brien has promised that the review will involve a thorough examination of the delivery of maternity services at Portiuncula hospital.

He told the Joint Committee on Health and Children this morning that it would include a review of the perinatal care.

Mr O'Brien said the draft terms of reference were being finalised and the investigation team was being established to include two obstetricians - one national and one international.

It will have two senior midwives, one national and one international, a patient advocate, a consultant neonatologist and an expert investigator from the HSE's National Incident Management Learning Team.

Mr O'Brien said that in relation to cases highlighted in the media recently, the chief clinical director of the Saolta Health Care Group would be meeting with the families concerned to agree with them on how best a review of these cases should be progressed.