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Most Dublin A&Es fail HSE test
[Posted: Mon 27/06/2011 by Niall Hunter, Editor www.irishhealth.com]
Only one of Dublin's seven major hospital emergency departments (EDs) have been given a satisfactory performance rating by the HSE in terms of waiting times for patient admissions, it has emerged.
The HSE's latest figures show that well over half of patients awaiting admission on a trolley in Tallaght Hospital's emergency department, the safety of which is now to be probed by HIQA, have to wait over 12 hours for a bed. Just over 10% have to wait over 24 hours for admission.
However, Tallaght is not the only Dublin A&E to be given a 'red light' for unsatisfactory performance in the HSE's HelathStat figures.
Emergency department admission waiting times at Beaumont, Connolly, the Mater, St Columcille's and St Vincent's are also given 'red lights' by the HSE. Only St James's gets a 'green light' for good performance in terms of emergency department waits.
The statistics show that Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown and Tallaght have the highest proportion of patients waiting over 24 hours for admission in their EDs.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) says its 'trolley watch' statistics show an increase of 224 patients waiting for a bed in Tallaght's A&E in the five-month period to May this year compared to the same period last year.
Welcoming the HIQA probe into service quality and safety at Tallaght's ED, the INMO said the A&E crisis at Tallaght is not new and is not confined to one hospital.
"It is part of a wider failure by the Government and the HSE to tackle the problems in emergency departments throughout the country over many years, and the INMO calls on HIQA to widen its investigation to encompass overcrowded A&Es nationwide."
This call has been echoed by the Irish Association of Emergency Medicine (IAEM), which represents consultants working in emergency departments.
It says it has for some time alerted the public and healthcare authorities to the significant and extensively proven dangers of ED overcrowding in terms of health outcomes for patients.
The IAEM points out that recent research from Canada showed that overcrowding in EDs leads to increased harm for patients.
It says more people in Ireland suffer avoidable death in overcrowded emergency departments each year than on the country's roads.
The IAEM expressed surprise that given the well-signalled dangers, the public bodies responsible for patient and staff safety had not responded to the issue to date.
The Association wants HIQA to extend its Tallaght probe to all hospitals.
The announcement of the Tallaght A&E investigation came only days after the Dublin County Coroner described Tallaght as as 'very dangerous place' for patients.
Dr Kieran Geraghty was commenting at the inquest into the death of 65-year-old Thomas Walsh in a corridor of the hospital while awaiting a bed.
The IAEM said this patient's death was not due to any failure of ED assessment but related to deficiencies in the ongoing care of the patient, who needed hospital admission.
An emergency consultant at Tallaght told the inquest he and his colleagues had complained about the conditions at Tallaght ED to HIQA and a number of other bodies. HIQA had been in contact with Tallaght for over a year about safety issues in its A&E before it announced its inquiry on Saturday.
The HIQA probe, while likely to focus on resources and hospital policies, is also likely to look at the quality of governance and management systems at Tallaght, fifteen months after its unreported x-ray scandal was revealed and seven months after the Hayes report into that scandal.
This report indicated that governance and management improvements were being made at the hospital.
|anony Posted: 29/06/2011 10:18|
If these A & Es are getting 'red lights', why are they not being closed just like Loughlinstown and Roscommon and Ennis and Nenagh and Louth and Navan and Monaghan and the others still to be named? This Government is not treating its children equally. Surely this great power - the EU - should be able to ensure equal rights for citizens. They have made rules for the safety and survival of hens on farms - why not human beings?
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