Aidan O'Brien: Urology consultant inquiry learns about previous investigation

An inquiry into urology services in the Southern Trust has revealed there had been a previous internal investigation into the work of a consultant urologist.

The Urology Services Inquiry was established by former Health Minister Robin Swann in March 2021 after concerns were raised about the work of Aidan O'Brien.

Mr O'Brien worked at Craigavon Area Hospital for 28 years and retired in July 2020.

Over 1,000 of his patients were recalled between January 2019 and June 2020 after a number of serious adverse incidents were raised by the Trust.

Counsel for the inquiry, Martin Wolfe, told the hearing that there had been a previous internal investigation into Mr O'Brien's work in 2017.

However, Mr Wolfe also read from a statement submitted by Mr O'Brien detailing the pressures he faced over a number of years and that he "tried to do the impossible".

His statement read: "The greatest threat...was the inadequacy of services provided by the Trust.

The Inquiry's Chair, Christine Smith QC, told the hearing that the inquiry was not a trial and that any issues surrounding the clinical practice of Aidan O'Brien were being handled by the General Medical Council.

The inquiry will also look into how the Southern Trust handled concerns and complaints about Mr O'Brien, whether those concerns could have been investigated sooner and any governance issues too.

The inquiry is expected to sit until the end of 2023 and is due to resume again on Wednesday.

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