FUNDING FOCUS Mayo TD Dara Calleary (pictured) believes that Minister Harris ‘has not provided the funding needed to deliver additional beds’.
A statement issued last Friday on behalf of the Saolta University Health Care Group apologised to all patients and their families who attended at the Mayo University Hospital (MUH) Emergency Department last week and experienced any distress as a result in the delays in getting patients processed.
Last week was particularly busy at the Emergency Department at MUH, prompting the release of the statement on Friday morning, which read:
“Following another busy night, Mayo University Hospital Mayo is already seeing further high numbers of attendances in the ED today, January 4. The Emergency Department continues to be extremely busy, with significant numbers of patients awaiting admission to the hospital. We apologise to patients and their families for these delays.
“The hospital regrets that patients are experiencing significant delays in being transferred from the Emergency Department to a bed in the hospital. We would like to remind the public that we encourage them to attend the Emergency Department only in the case of real emergencies and they should contact their GP or GP Out-of-Hours service in the first instance. Mayo University Hospital again apologises to all patients and their families for any distress caused as a result of these delays.”
The number of patients on trolleys dropped yesterday to five after numbers in the 20s last week but the Emergency Department is expected to still be very busy for the coming days.
The Emergency Department (ED) Taskforce held a meeting yesterday afternoon in Dublin and following the meeting, Minister for Health, Simon Harris, TD, admitted it was unacceptable that patients are experiencing very difficult conditions in EDs across the county.
“At today’s ED Taskforce meeting we discussed the measures being taken around the country, which it was agreed are to continue and intensify in the coming days. The measures agreed at today’s meeting include an increase in the number of senior clinical decision makers on hand in hospitals in the evenings and at weekends, enhanced access to diagnostics, and increased access to transitional care beds.
“We must now focus on making sure we have plans in place to fix the situation in our emergency departments and break the cycle of overcrowding in the health service.
I’m committed to pursuing three priorities in 2018 to achieve this – increasing bed capacity using evidence provided by the bed capacity review, implementing reform through Sláintecare and increasing services provided through Primary Care by negotiating a new GP contract,” said Minister Harris.
However, a Mayo TD, Dara Calleary has said funding is at the heart of the matter and he called on Minister Simon Harris to outline a funding plan to increase bed capacity in hospitals.
“Experts have been calling for additional bed capacity for our hospitals to tackle the overcrowding crisis for months, but the reality is Minister Harris has not provided the funding needed to deliver additional beds,” said Deputy Calleary.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) also said yesterday after the ED meeting that there is a realisation by all that acute beds are needed to correct the capacity problem and that without additional nurses, such beds cannot be put into use.
“Current efforts to recruit and retain nurses are failing,” said INMO General Secretary Phil Ni Sheaghdha.