An external report into spinal surgeries at Temple Street Children's Hospital in Dublin has found that 75% of patients developed a wound infection requiring extra surgery.

Children's Health Ireland (CHI) has published the internal and external reviews into spinal surgery for patients with spina bifida at the hospital.

CHI said that in response to requests from families and a wish to be as open and transparent as possible on the matter, it is now publishing both reports in full.

It added that all of the findings, recommendations and a summary of the reports were shared on Monday.

The external report reviewed medical records for 16 children with spina bifida who underwent spinal surgery between October 2019 and the end of October 2022.

It found seven out of 16 patients, over 43%, had metalwork failure complications and nine out of 16 patients, over 56%, had metalwork removed.

Over 81% of patients required additional surgery due to a post-operative complication.

One child needed 33 subsequent visits to theatre.

The average number of visits to theatre was six and a half.

The report was conducted by a team from Boston Children's Hospital under the direction of CHI and completed on 7 July.

It also reviewed the internal report which had been commissioned by CHI.

The internal review looked at a list of 16 patients going back to 2018, a different time period than the external review.

During that time period, the internal report found the highest number of visits to theatre was 34 and the average was over 11.

The review was completed in May.

Read more:
Parents of girl who died after Temple Street operations want answers
Taoiseach 'concerned' over spinal care at Temple Street
External review ordered into aspects of orthopaedic care at Temple Street
Temple Street parents say scope of review is too narrow

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said that reports are of great concern to patients and their families.

Speaking in New York, he said: "Everything that we do must be to ensure that we have the best possible services for children including spina bifida, scoliosis, other paediatric orthopaedic services."

Mr Donnelly said he had contacted HSE Chief Executive Bernard Glouster yesterday to ask him to widen the review.

The chief clinical officer is initiating a review, the minister said, and there is a highly-esteemed paediatric expert coming to start the review who will be in Ireland on Monday week.

He said he would meet with him when he gets here.

Mr Donnelly said it was important the review was widened, not just to look at spina bifida in Temple Street but to look at spinal care and surgeries for children right across CHI sites at Temple Street, Crumlin and Cappagh.

He said the focus now was on ensuring that children get access to services as quickly as possible and that the waiting lists which had been there for many years were permanently eradicated.

Amidst calls by the opposition for him to return home from New York and answer questions in the Dáil over the crisis, he said: "My focus is on the children and my focus is on the families.

"That's why the chief executive and I have agreed to broaden the review. It's why we've inisted that the reports are published in full. That is our entire focus right now."

Mr Donnelly said of course there would be time for Dáil questions and there should be.

He added the Oireachtas Committee on Health would also look at this in detail. He said he understood the whips would facilitate this for next week.

Opposition TDs earlier called on Mr Donnelly to come before the Dáil to answer questions on the issue.

"There is no transparency about what's going on here," Social Democrats TD Róisín Shortall said.

"All we've got is obfuscation and we've heard little or nothing from the Minister for Health.

"The Minister for Health needs to return to this country, urgently and I'm asking that he presents himself here tomorrow to make statements on this scandal," Ms Shortall added.

Solidarity-PBP TD Mick Barry said that Mr Donnelly does not need to be in New York but "needs to be back here" answering questions.

Sinn Féin TD Louise O'Reilly said: "There should be nothing more pressing on his agenda.

"The families want information" and the minister can give it, she added.

Labour Party leader Ivana Bacik said: "We've all been utterly dismayed this week about revelations of safety of certain surgeries performed at Temple Street Children's Hospital and the revelations have also cast a focus on ongoing failings in provision of surgery for children across children's hospitals in Ireland."