A Dublin West politician is seeking to meet with management at Connolly Hospital and the HSE following an audit report that exposes patient care at the Dublin West hospital.
Dublin West TD Patrick Nulty (Lab) wants to discuss the recent audit and reports in the national media this week which revealed the busy hospital has a number of patient care issues.
According to reports, an unpublished document produced by the Special Delivery Unit, which was established to reduce waiting lists and times in hospitals, outlines concerns such as a lack of resolve among senior staff to change current practices.
Following a visit last June, the SDU cited that, on average, 18 people a day are waiting on trolleys.
It believes that there is an “apparent lack of urgency” to deal with these patients and, at times, a “lack of push” from the emergency department itself.
The report also cited shortfalls in staff because of the public sector recruitment moratorium, retirements and resignations.
It also mentions that it was “not unusual” to have patients waiting up to 12 hours in A&E before being reviewed by an emergency department physician.
In response to the reports, Deputy Nulty said it was concerning that any audit would find improvements are needed in the hospital, but said the “ridiculous” recruitment moratorium should be lifted and praised the frontline staff who are doing a “superb” job under “extremely difficult circumstances”.
“I don’t think the HSE should in anyway be in doubt that budget cuts are key elements of the problems in the health service,” he said.
“We do need to have the most efficient and equitable service possible.
“Our health service is in crisis… what we need to do is implement what was proposed in the programme for government which is to move to a free GP care model, to remove care away from acute hospitals and towards the community.
“That would actually allow us to build a health service that is fit for purpose in the 21st century.
“The key asset in our health service are the staff… government policy is at fault here, not the people who work day in and day out at Connolly Hospital.”
A HSE spokesperson said the visit was fully facilitated and supported by hospital management and clinical staff who are currently working with SDU on addressing all recommendations which emerged from the diagnostic visit.
The spokesperson said the visiting team found the Emergency Department of Connolly Hospital to be “a well laid-out area with excellent clinical staff”.
Congestion in the emergency department and patient waiting times were highlighted as key priority areas to be addressed.
Addressing the issues, opening hours of the acute medical assessment unit have been extended since November 2012 to improve waiting times for patients.
The hospital has also been allocated additional posts to enhance the day hospital facility, and it is envisaged that these posts will be put in place in 2013.
“The hospital has managed its waiting lists well in 2012 with no surgical patient waiting more than nine months for admission for treatment.”