499 elderly patients left lying on trollies for over 24 hours in OLOL in 2018

Sinn Féin TD for Louth and East Meath Imelda Munster has voiced her concern that 499 patients over the age of 75 were left waiting over 24 hours to be seen in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Emergency Department in 2018.

Teachta Munster said: “Just as the total number of patients on trolleys has increased year on year while Simon Harris has been Minister for Health, the number of elderly patients who have had to wait over 24 hours for care has also increased under his watch every year.

“Older patients are often among the most vulnerable people in our hospitals due to their age and the additional medical needs that can sometimes accompany aging.

“Treating them urgently prevents escalation of injury and ensures their safety. It is incredibly worrying that 14,041 patients over 75 years old were not seen within the HSE 24 hour target timeframe last year – an increase of 2,821 older patients than in 2017.” “The situation was equally bleak at Our Lady of Lourdes hospital where 499 elderly sick patients waited over 24 hours to be seen in 2018. “It is unacceptable that anyone is left waiting on a trolley for over 24 hours, but it is borderline criminal that elderly people are.

“The HSE has a 24-hour target for seeing those over the age of 75, this target in and of itself is far too low and completely lacks ambition. That such a low target has been missed on 14,041 separate occasions is serious case for concern.

“The staff in our hospitals still do an amazing job and they are doing more with less resources; they are treating more patients even though there is a recruitment and retention crisis across all areas of the health service. “All the while patients and staff are being failed by the Minister and by this government.

“We need more ambition in meeting targets for treating elderly patients from the HSE and the Minister for Health. If this situation is not rectified then lives will be put at risk, resulting in fatalities. This is the type of situation that nurses are speaking about when they say safe staffing is a major priority in our hospitals.

“The solution is more capacity, more staff, and the implementation of Sláintecare; however, the government are damaging capital projects across the State due to the children’s hospital overspend, and they appear to have no interest in implementing Sláintecare.”

Cllr Watters Warns of Risk To Livestock from Dogs

Cllr Antóin Watters

Following a number of devastating dog attacks on sheep in the North Louth area Sinn Fein Cllr Antóin Watters has called on Louth County Council to initiate a responsible dog ownership awareness campaign.

Cllr Watters working alongside Gerry Adams TD also wrote to the Minister of Agriculture to look at the possibility of a national campaign and unfortunately the Minister is not in a position to do this at present.

Cllr Watters said “People need to be aware of the damage a stray dog or pack of dogs can do. I would ask dog owners to ensure their animals are closed in at night and know where they are at all times. We need to be responsible and aware.”

Recent Tweet from Louth Council

Meanwhile, Cllr Watters has welcomed that Louth County Council have been tweeting about the dangers in the hope of raising local awareness.

Cllr Watters: Completed Projects Welcomed

Councillor Antóin Watters visited two projects that were recently completed following successful CLÁR Funding applications.

Cllr Watters said “I was delighted to assist Monksland NS and Jenkinstown Project Committee with their applications and it is always great to see the final completed project. It gives a sense of satisfaction to everyone involved and I appreciate the hard work that went into these projects at every level.”

“I am currently working on a number of other projects, that I hope will also be as successful and I wish Monkland NS and the Jenkinstown Project Committee the best of luck going forward.”

Cllr Tom Cunningham Calls for Action on Worst Road in Louth

Local Resident & Cllr Cunningham

Sinn Féin Councillor Tom Cunningham believes he has the “worst road in Louth and possibly the island” in his constituency.

Cllr Cunningham raised the state of the road at last week’s Ardee Municipal Council meeting. “Everrit’s Lane has to be seen to be believed. It is the road that links the Kells Road and Oriel Road in Collon. The road has obviously been neglected for many years and needs upgraded as a matter of urgency.”

Cllr Cunningham who visited the scene this week said “When it rains, its many potholes fill up quickly with rain water making them impossible to see until you actually hit them with your wheels.”

But that is not the only problem. “Because the drainage at the side of the road is so overgrown there is nowhere for the excess surface water to go so the road quickly becomes like a fast flowing river which cuts away further at the road each time it rains and carries some of the surface away making the road even worse.” Cllr Cunningham described the road as a “nightmare and I wonder how the emergency services would cope if they find themselves in the unenviable position of having to use this road.

It is bad enough for local residents who have some local knowledge and have learned where to swerve to avoid the worst of the potholes.”

“It is a matter of urgency that this road is resurfaced and that the drainage receives immediate attention

Adams calls on Health and Finance Ministers to engage with Nurses Unions

Louth TD Gerry Adams yesterday joined a nurses picket at the Rotunda in Parnell Square and later at Louth County Hospital in Dundalk.

Speaking during statements in the Dáil on the Nurses Strike Teachta Adams said: “I want to express my support for the Nurses and Midwives of the INMO and the Psychiatric Nurses. The nurses and midwives on the picket line don’t want to be on strike.

However, it is clear from the overwhelming public support they are receiving that people, including patients who are being affected by the strike, don’t blame the nurses. They understand that nurses have been badly treated by successive governments. They know our health services are in crisis. They accept that this industrial action is about providing a health service fit for purpose and capable of treating patients effectively and efficiently. They also accept that without significant changes in pay, that the core problems of recruitment and retention of staff, and of patient safety, will not change. In that situation the nursing shortage and the crisis in the health service, will only get worse. Fine Gael has had almost eight years to address the recruitment and retention crisis.

This government is presiding over the scandal of overspend at the new Children’s hospital. The Taoiseach argues that it is value for money. At the same time he rejects the demands from the nurses.

This government has no problem with landlords, bankers, vulture funds making big profits but denies nurses. Last year, Sinn Féin introduced a Private Members’ motion on the pay and recruitment of nurses and midwives. It was unanimously passed but its recommendations were ignored. The unions have proposed sensible and responsible solutions which if adopted by government and the HSE would end the industrial action and improve conditions for staff and patients within the health service. They have been ignored.

It is up to Minister Donohue and Minister Harris to engage with the INMO and PDA and find resolutions based on workable proposals that address the key issues at the heart of this crisis: pay, and the recruitment and retention of nurses and midwives.

As for Fianna Fáil – the confidence and supply party – their protestations at Fine Gael’s incompetence and arrogance ring hollow. Fine Gael is only in government because Fianna Fáil supports them and their policies”.