Waiting lists in OLOL grow as Government policy fails – Adams

DSC_3254_6510Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams today challenged the Taoiseach on the worsening crisis in our emergency departments. INMO figures for today reveal that there are 528 people awaiting admittance to a ward. One of the highest trolley numbers is Our Lady of Lourdes in Drogheda which has 41 citizens on trolleys.

Gerry Adams said:

“Despite all of the bluster and promises from the government, and claims of investment in our health system, those patients attending our emergency departments have been increasingly left on trolleys because of a lack of capacity within those departments.

One example of government failure is the admission by the Minister for Health in a PQ to my colleague Louise O’Reilly TD that the Government’s much heralded bed capacity review, which was announced in the Programme for Government, has not yet had its terms of reference set.

Critically, the National Treatment Purchase Fund figures for last month revealed a health service under serious pressure from increasing waiting lists. In October there were 535,000 citizens on the public hospital waiting lists. This is another record number.

There are 12,216 outpatients waiting for treatment in Our Lady of Lourdes. Almost 5,000 of these patients have been waiting for more than six months. There are also 1106 citizens waiting for inpatient day case treatment in OLOL. Of these 377 are waiting on general surgery and 205 have been waiting for more than six months.

It is obvious that Government inaction on the crisis in emergency departments and acute hospitals is resulting in worsening trolley and overcrowding figures.


Munster: No show from Minister as 18 beds close in Louth

Imelda Photo WhiteIn the Dáil on Thursday evening Sinn Féin Louth and Meath East TD Imelda Munster raised the matter of 18 beds assigned to services for the elderly in Louth being closed due to nursing staff shortages.

Questioning Minister for State Catherine Byrne, as Minister for Health Simon Harris was unavailable, Deputy Munster asked that the Department instruct the HSE to implement a fast-tracking process to fill these vacancies.

“I realise there is an overall nursing recruitment plan in place but a significant part of the problem in my constituency is the serious delay by the HSE management nationally, not locally, in approving the filling of staff vacancies. It was known for months before the 18 beds were closed that there was a need to recruit staff. Those approvals were left on a desk or shelf gathering dust in the full knowledge of the crisis we were facing.”

“The HSE at national level is responsible for the closure of beds in Drogheda and Dundalk. They were fully aware of the impending crisis in elderly services in Louth and instead of approving the posts for the filling of vacancies well in advance, they closed 18 beds.”

“It is either total incompetence or a deliberate policy of bed closure. This will have a knock on effect on Our Lady of Lourdes hospital coming into the winter months. Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital is one of the worst in the country for overcrowding, being often top of the list in this regard. Yesterday, for instance, 29 patients were on trolleys there. I am calling on the Minister to reverse those cuts as we approach the winter.”

Deputy Munster expressed outrage that the Minister for Health wasn’t even in attendance to answer questions or be held accountable.

“The Minister needs to prioritise the fast-tracking of approval to fill vacancies on a national level and I intend to pursue the Minister on this matter.”

“Elderly services have been decimated in county Louth and the Minister needs to instruct senior management of the HSE to get their act together and fast-track the approval process and reinstate those beds as a matter of urgency”.

Munster – Gov TDs failing to deliver on beds promises

IMG_6186_edited-1Sinn Féin Councillor Imelda Munster has accused the government of “cynically exploiting the allocation of funding to three residential care centres in Louth for electoral purposes.”

The Louth County Councillor also accused the government and in particular government TDs Ged Nash and Fergus ODowd of failing to deliver on their claims of 100 additional beds through St. Mary’s.

Councillor Munster said:

“The governments plan is for a 90 bed unit to replace the existing 64. In all this means an additional 26 beds. While this is welcome it still falls far short of what both government TDs were promising.”

Imelda Munster said:

“The announcement by the government of funding for three residential care centres in Louth is long overdue. The decisions to refurbish and rebuild St. Mary’s Hospital in Drogheda, St. Joseph’s in Ardee and St. Oliver Plunkett were taken years ago.

The decision on St. Mary’s was made in 2012. The refurbishment plan for St. Joseph’s was agreed in 2013. In a HSE response to Gerry Adams last November it was confirmed that the capital funding had been allocated.

This is another example of the government making the same announcement several times.

More importantly these projects have been planned for three and four years. The failure by the government to prioritise these projects means that St. Mary’s will not be delivered until 2020 and St. Josephs in Ardee will not be finished until 2021.

As a consequence of government failure the residents of these residential care centres will continue to live in unacceptable and outdated conditions.”

ADAMS TD – End Scandal in OLOL Emergency department

lg_adams_copy3Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has called for an “urgent review of government policy and funding for the Health Service to end the scandal of patients stuck on trolleys in Emergency Departments.”

The Louth TD said:

“Waiting lists in Our Lady of Lourdes Emergency Department have remained consistently high. On Monday August 10th there were 35 patients on trolleys in OLOL – the worst in the state. The following day (today) Tuesday August 11th that number was 36.

“The summer period normally sees a drop in the volume of overcrowding in Emergency Departments but the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has reported that July saw the ‘highest ever level of overcrowding recorded.’ July 2015 witnessed a 94% increase in trolley numbers in ED’s since 2006.

“Our Lady of Lourdes – with 769 patients on trolleys In July – had the highest levels of overcrowding of any hospital in the state.

“This is deeply disturbing and is evidence of the abject failure of government policy in respect of the health service and the care of patients. New measures introduced by the Minister for Health are inadequate and the €74 million additional funding provided several months ago has failed to achieve any significant improvement in Emergency Department trolley numbers.

“The negative impact of this on patient care and patient well-being requires urgent additional funding by the government.

Urgent action is needed. It should include:

  • Immediate steps to recruit the required additional staff.
  • Additional resources to expand the role of the nurse in the acute care and in enhanced community services.
  • More acute beds and step down facilities must be established.”


Urgent Action needed on Trolleys: Adams

Ard Fheis 8Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has described the ongoing crisis in patients stuck on trolleys in Our Lady of Lourdes, Drogheda as “symptomatic of all that is wrong with the government’s health policies.”

The Louth TD described last week’s INMO report on trolley figures for May as “deeply disturbing”. He said: “The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation in its latest analysis of trolley figures revealed that May was the worst month on record for patients on trolleys. There were 7,713 patients on a trolley for an in-patient bed – up 31% on last year.

These figures are almost double – up 83% – on what they were in May 2006.

And predictably Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda had the second highest number of patients on trolleys of all hospitals in the state. 718 patients were impacted in Our Lady of Lourdes.”

Gerry Adams TD said:

“Last October the government provided an additional €635 million to the HSE.

This was less than half of the €1.4 billion that it had asked for. Several months ago the government provided an additional €74 million to deal with the crisis in the Emergency Departments by attempting to provide additional places in the Fair Deal system for medically discharged patients who are stuck in hospital beds.

Despite the hard work of staff, Our Lady of Lourdes continues to have numbers in the Emergency department that are close to those normally seen in winter time. On Wednesday June 17th OLOL had the worst trolley figures in the state – 36 patients on trolleys.

In recent weeks the media have highlighted two specific cases of citizens born before the 1916 Rising who have endured many hours on trolleys.

Dr James Gray, a consultant in emergency medicine at Tallaght Hospital described as ‘horrendous’ and as a ‘form of torture and a human rights abuse’ the conditions under which a 101-year-old woman was kept.

The Irish Association of Emergency Medicine said patients who have to remain on hospital trolleys for extended periods of time, have suffered an infringement of their human rights and have been subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment.

Clearly government policy needs to change. Urgent action is needed. It should include:

  • Immediate steps to recruit the required additional staff.
  • Additional resources to expand the role of the nurse in the acute care and in enhanced community services.
  • More acute beds and step down facilities must be established.”