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of government failure the residents of these residential care centres will continue to live in unacceptable and outdated conditions.”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

Fair Deal crisis in Louth – Gerry Adams TD

Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has expressed “serious concern at the significant rise in citizens on the Nursing Homes Support Scheme (Fair Deal) waiting list in County Louth.”

Teachta Adams said:

“According to HSE figures I have received in response to a Parliamentary Question to the Minister for Health there has been almost a four fold increase in the number of people on the Fair Deal waiting list for Louth in the last 4 years.

 In 2012 there were 9 people in Louth on the Fair Deal waiting list. In January of this year that number had risen to 33. In the Dublin North East region, which incorporates Louth, Cavan/Monaghan, Meath and Dublin North the number has risen from 68 in 2012 to 252 in January of this year.

This reflects a similar picture across the state. In January 2012 there were 325 citizens on the Fair Deal waiting list. In January 2015 that figure was 1196.

In response to a Parliamentary Question two months ago the Minister for Health claimed that the government’s allocation of an extra €25 million to address delayed discharges and provide additional home packages would see the 300 additional Fair Deal beds and a reduction in the time people would have to wait for a fair deal bed.

However, in February the HSE director general Tony O’Brien warned the Oireachtas health committee that the waiting list for the scheme will grow to 2,200 people by the end of the year while waiting times will swell to 18-20 weeks.  

The PQ response I have received from the HSE shows that there has been a cut of over 50 million euro in the Fair Deal budget. In 2011 it was €1,011m. This year the figure is €948.7m – a drop of €52.3 million.

(The PQ gives a figure of 948.7 but there was an additional allocation of 10 million bringing the total to 958.7)

The failure of the government to plan properly for health and in particular for fair deal, puts patients at clinical risk. The ad hoc and inadequate way in which the government has approached this issue means that people have to wait too long on trolleys because beds are not available as a result of delayed discharges. Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda is particularly affected and consequently tops the list of hospitals with the worst trolley numbers. This is unacceptable and is further evidence of chaos and damage caused by the government’s austerity policies.”

Adams Alarm At Overcrowding In Our Lady Of Lourdes

Ard Fheis 8Sinn Féin Leader and Louth TD Gerry Adams has expressed alarm at the overcrowding situation in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.

Mr Adams called for the immediate intervention of the Minister Health Leo Varadkar, saying the hospital overcrowding situation was now an emergency.

Gerry Adams said:

“Our Lady of Lourdes was the most overcrowded hospital in the State this morning with 43 sick or injured patients being treated on trolleys. There are over 50 patients waiting for admission.

“I know this situation is reflected to varying degrees in hospitals across the state and that the number of patients on trolleys in hospital emergency units has now reached record levels.

“Measures announced in the Budget to ease pressure on A&Es have had little effect. What is urgently required is funding for step-down beds and extra nursing home places.

“We need to treat this as an emergency and the Minister for Health Leo Varadkar needs to intervene immediately to tackle this situation.”