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HIQA must investigate overcrowding at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital – Sinn Féin

30 September, 2011

Sinn Féin TD for Meath West Peadar Tóibín has been joined by his party leader and Louth TD Gerry Adams and Drogheda General Practitioner Dr Ruairí Hanely in submitting a request to HIQA to carry out an investigation into ongoing and serious overcrowding in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.

Speaking today Deputy Tóibín said, “Figures from the Irish Nurses Organisation, which are not disputed by the Department of Health, reveal that on Wednesday September 28th there were 48 patients on trolleys and chairs in Our Lady of Lourdes. This was the highest number of inpatients without beds in any hospital in this state. In fact, Our Lady of Lourdes has had the highest number of patients on trolleys in the state for the past five days.

“This level of overcrowding is not an anomaly. Throughout the past month, the numbers of patients on trolleys in Drogheda has consistently exceeded 30. This has resulted in enormous pressure on the Emergency Department and represents a clear threat to patient safety and welfare.

“Earlier this year, the Irish Association of Emergency Medicine, representing consultants in this area, stated, ‘It is now well-established that boarding hospital inpatients in emergency departments results in increased numbers of deaths among this group of ill patients, compared to similar patients who are admitted to a hospital ward in a timely fashion.’

“Given this statement, and the fact that Our Lady of Lourdes is one of the worst affected hospitals in the state, we find it hard to believe that HIQA has not felt it necessary to launch a full safety assessment of this hospital and the potential safety risk it represents to patients.

“This situation becomes even more incredible when we consider that the HSE regularly cites the HIQA ‘Mallow’ report as grounds for the potential closure of the Emergency Department of Our Lady’s Hospital Navan, with the intention of diverting yet more patients to Drogheda.” ENDS

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