HSE may not be fit-for-purpose to provide care to children

The inability of the HSE to clarify just how many children have died in their care in the last ten years is profoundly worrying.

The HSE was asked some months ago to compile figures on how many children in their care had passed away, but have STILL not been able to come up with a definitive number. This defies belief.

I appreciate that a portion of the period involved predates the establishment of the HSE. However, in a matter of such seriousness it is simply incredible that detailed records of the deaths of these children are not available, or that at the very least, that the number of such children is not known by senior HSE officials.

According to the CSO, excluding neo-natal deaths a total of about 300 children die each year, and the notion that as many as 20 of them are under HSE care hardly bears thinking about.

The further revelation today that the independent panel set up to look into the deaths of children in HSE care has still not received a single file on the individuals involved only adds to the picture of dysfunctionality and incompetence in the HSE.

Last week, the remains of Daniel McAnaspie were discovered in a field in Co Meath. The shocking murder of Daniel at a time when he was living in the care of the HSE is but the latest in a litany of scandals to beset the the organisation.

We now must ask the question as to whether the HSE is indeed fit-for-purpose when it comes to providing and managing child-care services.