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29th Apr 2024

‘We failed Aoife’ – HSE Chief speaks out about the harrowing passing of Aoife Johnston

Kat O'Connor

Aoife Johnston sadly passed away in University Hospital Limerick

HSE Chief Bernard Gloster has spoken out about the passing of Aoife Johnston.

Last week, an inquest ruled that she died because of medical misadventure.

Bernard Gloster issued an apology to Aoife’s heartbroken family. He said the HSE “failed” their daughter.

In a statement, he said: “There is only one thing we can say to them, and that is that we apologise. We are sorry.

He added, “We failed Aoife – our failure led to her death. We failed them as a family.”

In December 2022, Aoife’s GP referred her to University Hospital Limerick with suspected sepsis.

She was not seen by a doctor for 12 hours despite the severity of her case.

Doctors explained that the hospital was unbelievably understaffed on the night Aoife was admitted.

During the inquest, one doctor even described the hospital as a war zone.

They admitted that Aoife, who was only 16 at the time of her death, had no chance.

Following the verdict, the HSE issued a statement acknowledging the distress Aoife’s family has faced since her untimely death.

“The inquest which has taken place this past week has been another period in which the family of Aoife Johnston have experienced great distress, and this has been publicly visible to all of us.

“On behalf of the HSE, I, again, would like to express our heartfelt sympathy to Aoife’s family and friends for the pain and suffering they experienced because of Aoife’s death while in our care.”

“I want to take this opportunity to restate for the record today our unequivocal apology to them, conscious that no words of mine will take away their pain.

Mr. Gloster confirmed that he will now study the outcome of the inquest, as well as the systems analysis report he received in December.

“I know we have considerable work to do to ensure that the people of the Mid West, and the staff of University Hospital Limerick, have a service they can feel confident in and proud of, and we are working to that end. The details of this inquest will be very much in our minds as we do so.”

We’re keeping Aoife’s loved ones in our thoughts during this distressing time.