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Hospital chaos a result of failure to implement HIQA recommendations - Adams

14 January, 2015 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD has said that the current crisis in hospital emergency departments would have been averted if HIQA recommendations had been implemented. He also said that Government policies had decimated the Health Services.

Gerry Adams said:

“Last week I wrote to HIQA expressing concern at conditions in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda and requested that the Authority conduct an assessment.

“Today I received a reply which is truly shocking. In summary it says that if previous HIQA recommendations had been implemented, current risks within hospital emergency departments across the State would be significantly reduced.

“The 2012 Tallaght Report made 17 recommendations on the safe care of patients in emergency departments. There were two further reports, one in June 2014 into overcrowding in the emergency department at University Hospital Limerick, the second in December 2014 into emergency care services.

“HIQA also met representatives of the Department of Health and the HSE about implementation of the Tallaght Report and expressed concerns about patient safety.”

Mr Adams asked Taoiseach Enda Kenny if he agreed that the HSE is obliged to take prompt action to implement recommendations made by regulatory bodies such as HIQA and if he accepted that this is the explicit responsibility of the Department of Health and the Minister for Health.

He also asked Mr Kenny if would explain to the Dáil why the HSE, the Department of Health and the Minister have failed to implement these various recommendations?

Pointing out thatGovernment policies had decimated the Health Services, he said:

“Nurses have been undervalued by this Government and a lack of full-time positions has seen an exodus of some of our most qualified nurses.

Fine Gael and Labour have imposed cuts of 2,724 nurses since taking office. This followed similarly large cuts under Fianna Fáil.”

Mr Adams spoke this morning with senior staff at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda who said problems faced by Emergency Departments were partly due to ‘delayed discharge patients’ in our hospitals who should not be there.

“However, it is not safe to send these patients home because there is not a sufficient number of enhanced Home Care Packages, home supports, adequate Respite Grants or public nursing home beds.”

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