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Tallaght Hospital not alone in A&E dangers – Ó Caoláin

30 June, 2011 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Sinn Féin Health & Children spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has welcomed the terms of reference of the HIQA inquiry into Tallaght Hospital but said the hospital is far from alone among hospitals with regard to the dangers of over-crowded and under-resourced Accident and Emergency departments.

He said:

“It is right that HIQA should inquire into the particular events and factors in Tallaght Hospital that have led to such serious concerns for patients safety. This arose from the findings of the coroner in the case of a man who died in a co-called ‘virtual ward’ off the A&E Department in Tallaght and another man who suffered a heart attack in a chair while awaiting admission.

“The terms of reference of the inquiry are welcome and I hope it is thorough, with lessons being learned and positive changes implemented.

“But Tallaght is far from alone with regard to the dangers to patients in over-crowded and under-resourced A&E Departments. Record numbers of people are on trolleys and chairs. Some 1600 public hospital beds have been closed and people are spending inordinate time in A&E waiting for a bed on a ward.

“If the further health cuts signalled by the Fine Gael/Labour government proceed then we are heading for further tragedies in our hospitals and no number of HIQA reports will prevent them.” ENDS

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