Cllr Imelda Munster Slams Waiting Lists in Drogheda Hospital

Imelda Munster at deskCommenting on the latest hospital outpatient and inpatient waiting list figures for November 2015, Drogheda based Sinn Féin Councillor and General Election Candidate Imelda Munster has slammed the Government’s failure to tackle the waiting lists.

According to Cllr Munster, “the people have had enough of the Government’s incompetence and its mismanagement of our public health service”.

Cllr Munster said: “This month we have seen a paltry 2% decrease in the outpatient waiting list at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, which currently stands at just under 11,000 people. Despite all the bluster from our Minister for Health, he has failed to deliver on the promise he made that no patient would be waiting more than 15 months for treatment by the end of the year.

“In our Lady of Lourdes Hospital alone, there are almost 1,200 people waiting over one year with over 350 waiting for over 15 months on the outpatient and inpatient lists. It is clear that this Government is out of its depth and incapable of effectively tackling this crisis.

“Instead of investing in our health service, Fine Gael and Labour have compounded the years of underinvestment and mismanagement of the health service under Fianna Fáil Governments. This Government’s health policy is in shambles – our nurses are ready to go on strike, Universal Health Insurance has gone out the window and instead of providing the necessary investment to our chronically under resourced hospitals, this Government has fined them to the tune of €5.8 million in a desperate attempt to make this issue disappear in the run up to an election!

“This would be laughable if it was not so serious. In November of this year 578 admitted patients were cared for on trolleys in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda – a complete scandal.

“The people of Louth and frontline health workers can no longer afford to wait for this Government to get its act together – it is time to call an election and let the people have their say.”

Our Lady of Lourdes New beds – “A Drop in the Ocean”- Adams

Gerry & Imelda at OLOL New bed unitSinn Féin leader Gerry Adams TD and Cllr Imelda Munster have attended the opening of 24 additional beds in the Emergency Department of Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda.

Speaking after the event, which took place on Friday 13th November, Teachta Adams said,

“I welcome these additional clinical decision and surgical assessment beds, which I know are having a positive effect on the dreadful conditions in the Emergency Department, but I am acutely conscious that these are a mere drop in the ocean.

“Nursing staff have informed me that 45 whole time equivalent personnel are needed to properly staff this new unit. I am seeking assurances from Leo Varadkar that these people are in place.

“The Minister must also address the issues which cause overcrowding in the Emergency Department at OLOL, the lack of homecare packages, the access problems in non acute care, the lack of nursing home beds, the convoluted Fair Deal scheme, the cutbacks in community care and the persistent recruitment difficulties.

Cllr and general election candidate Imelda Munster added;

“On Friday the INMO Trolley Watch stated that there were 19 people on trollies in Our Lady of Lourdes. This new unit is opened against a backdrop of perennial overcrowding, disgraceful ambulance response times, damaging HIQA reports, massive outpatient waiting lists, a recent data breach of patient records and 1,000’s of recalled X-Rays.

“These issues combined illustrate a very sick Health Service which is simply not fit for purpose.”

Crisis in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital – Adams

DSC_3254_6510Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has described the situation in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda as “a humanitarian and health crisis which is placing patient safety at serious risk.”

Teachta Adams was responding to the news that Our Lady of Lourdes had to go ‘off-call’ last night because of the numbers of citizens in the emergency department.

Gerry Adams said:

“Our Lady of Lourdes hospital in Drogheda was forced off-call last night because of the numbers of patients on trolleys. Yesterday Lourdes hospital had the highest number of patients on trolleys in the state.

Despite the hard work and diligence of staff Our Lady of Lourdes this happens every week.

The crisis in Our Lady of Lourdes has its roots in the drastic cuts to services in Louth County Hospital, including the closure of its accident and emergency department, and the mismanagement of funding and management resources to the health service by this government and by Fianna Fáil before it.

Sinn Féin has published our comprehensive alternative budget which sets out costed and effective measures to tackle the crisis in the health service. In the upcoming election, whenever the Taoiseach has the gumption to call it, we will seek a mandate from the electorate to implement them.”



Serious threat to patients at Drogheda hospital must be urgently addressed – Gerry Adams TD

DSC_3254_6510Sinn Féin Leader and Louth TD Gerry Adams has described today’s HIQA report on inspections at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda as “shocking” and called for the serious threat to patient safety to be urgently addressed.

Gerry Adams said:

“This is a worrying report containing numerous instances of non-compliance with national standards for the Prevention and Control of Healthcare Associated Infections at Our Lady of Lourdes hospital. It is unacceptable that areas of the hospital deemed ‘high risk’ during an unannounced inspection in June 2015 continued to give cause for concern during a follow up inspection in July 2015.

“The most troubling aspect of this report for patients and their families is that HIQA is not satisfied that risks in relation to legionella, the bacteria responsible for Legionnaire’s Disease, are being effectively addressed at the hospital.

“This poses a serious threat to patients with already compromised immune systems and is a persistent issue despite the hospital’s investment in a new water treatment system 18 months ago. This must immediately be addressed and all necessary funding must be made available to rectify this situation.

Commenting on other issues identified in the report, Gerry Adams said:

“It is shocking that this report identifies issues in relation to hand hygiene, ward cleanliness, availability of cleaning equipment, location of wash hand basins and alcohol rub, dust control and preparation of intravenous medicines in unclean environments among other issues.

“The report does state that Our Lady of Lourdes hospital is proactively addressing these myriad issues but progress is undoubtedly being hampered by the fact that bed occupancy is continuously in excess of 100%.

“Simply, it is practically impossible for the hospital to comprehensively address these infection control issues while there is such inadequate bed spacing between patients. HIQA reports that staff, patients and visitors do not have proper access to wash hand basins due to overcrowding of wards.

“A new patient accommodation unit is due to be completed in 2017, which I fear is too far away for those currently residing in Our Lady of Lourdes.”

Government failing patients in OLOL Emergency department: Adams

Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has accused the government of “failing patients attending Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda”.

The Louth TD’s remarks follow the revelation by the INMO that an elderly patient has been on a trolley for five days and that several others are on their fourth day waiting for a bed.

Gerry Adams said: “This news will surprise no one. OLOL in Drogheda, despite the best efforts of staff and management, does not have the resources needed to cope with the health demands placed on it. Today there were 48 patients on trolleys – the highest number in the state.

There needs to be 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:

“In its monthly comparative survey the INMO last week found that Our Lady of Lourdes – at 680 – had the highest levels of overcrowding of any hospital in the state. At the same time there were 6518 admitted patients on trolleys – a 40% increase over the same period last year. This has been the consistent month on month pattern for the last 14 months; with July witnessing the highest ever level of overcrowding recorded.

The crisis in our emergency departments demands an emergency holistic response by government and the necessary resources, including funding and staff to ensure that patient care is not sacrificed to austerity.

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.

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.”