Families whose children were affected by serious failings in audiology services in the west of Ireland say they are still waiting for additional vital services to be approved for their children.

Last month RTÉ Investigates revealed details of a review of paediatric audiology services provided by one audiologist who worked in counties Mayo and Roscommon for over a ten-year period from the early 2000s.

The report identified serious concerns around the quality of services provided to 49 families, leaving some young children with lifelong consequences.

The audiologist in question no longer works in the Republic of Ireland. 

However, over a month later, parents say they are still fighting for necessary supports.

They include Martin and Pamela Corcoran whose seven-year-old daughter Saoirse was one of almost 50 children to receive an apology from the Health Service Executive for the failings in care she received as a young child.

Saoirse has profound hearing loss in her left ear but this went undiagnosed for several years.

The family had hoped the release of the audit would kick start a process where vital services would be made available to all affected children, but they said they left a meeting with HSE and Department of Health officials last night dismayed that little progress has been made.

"Nothing has happened in the last five weeks in terms of communication from departments, looking at what's possible to deliver for all the children because we all have different needs, but there doesn't appear to be any communication in the last couple of weeks and that's concerning in itself.

"It's bad enough that we've lost four years already in terms of Saoirse's development and then we'd a year where they were sitting on the report and now we have to wait further to strive for services for Saoirse," Mr Corcoran said.


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Families affected are now calling on HSE officials to be called before the Oireachtas Health Committee and have requested the HSE extend its audit to include other areas around the country where the audiologist in question also worked.

"I appeal to the HSE to widen the scope of that investigation and to investigate other areas where this particular individual has worked because I don't think any other family should go through what we're going through, and indeed the other families as well.

"It would be worrying to think that there are children out there who have not got a voice and continue to struggle in their daily lives and that's not acceptable at all," Mr Corcoran said.

The families - who now plan to form their own support group - say they have also had a lack of engagement from the HSE. Solicitor Ian O'Reilly of Coleman Legal - who represents the Corcoran family - says those affected need to be dealt with in a more open way:

"Unfortunately it seems to me from the meeting and initial indications from departments that they're going to have to go through red tape, legal letters of claim and all that.

"In my view some sort of redress scheme or engagement with them to avoid adversarial litigation would be much more preferable because from what we do know, it seems to be a finite number of families affected, so I see no reason why a more humane scheme cannot be put in place."