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Sinn Féin TD calls for full investigation into patient safety in Drogheda Hospital

19 July, 2012

Sinn Féin TD and Cathaoirleach of the Save Navan Hospital Campaign Peadar Tóibín and local GP Ruairí Hanley have sent a letter to the Minister for Health James Reilly requesting that he order the Health Information and Quality Authority to carry out a full investigation into patient safety in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Drogheda, as per his rights under Section 9 (2) of the Health Act 2007.

The request also seeks investigation into the likely impact on patient safety of any future downgrading in Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan.

The demands come as the Irish Nurses Organisation reports that from Jan – April this year 2,422 patients were treated on trolleys in Drogheda. This comes in spite of a direct intervention by the Special Delivery Unit (with the investment of 750,000 Euro) in November 2011.

The situation in Drogheda has steadily worsened over the past two to three years as the HSE pursued their downgrading agenda in Navan, Monaghan and Dundalk. The figures from the INMO are stark – in 2010 1,664 patients were on trolleys in Our Lady of Lourdes between January and July. This rose to 3,266 in the equivalent period of 2011.

Deputy Tóibín said that there was “a serious responsibility on the shoulders of the Minister. Current practices and potential HSE decisions could have grave consequences on patient safety. Given the extreme trolley count in the region if the Minister fails to ensure the necessary investigations are carried out by HIQA, I believe that the minister would be in dereliction of his duty of care to citizens.”

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