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Serious threat to patients at Drogheda hospital must be urgently addressed – Adams

1 October, 2015 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin Leader and Louth TD Gerry Adams has described today’s HIQA report on inspections at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda as "shocking" and called for a the serious threat to patient safety to be urgently addressed.

Gerry Adams said:

“This is a worrying report containing numerous instances of non-compliance with national standards for the Prevention and Control of Healthcare Associated Infections at Our Lady of Lourdes hospital. It is unacceptable that areas of the hospital deemed ‘high risk’ during an unannounced inspection in June 2015 continued to give cause for concern during a follow up inspection in July 2015.

“The most troubling aspect of this report for patients and their families is that HIQA is not satisfied that risks in relation to legionella, the bacteria responsible for Legionnaire’s Disease, are being effectively addressed at the hospital.

“This poses a serious threat to patients with already compromised immune systems and is a persistent issue despite the hospital’s investment in a new water treatment system 18 months ago. This must immediately be addressed and all necessary funding must be made available to rectify this situation.

Commenting on other issues identified in the report, Gerry Adams said:

“It is shocking that this report identifies issues in relation to hand hygiene, ward cleanliness, availability of cleaning equipment, location of wash hand basins and alcohol rub, dust control and preparation of intravenous medicines in unclean environments among other issues.

“The report does state that Our Lady of Lourdes hospital is proactively addressing these myriad issues but progress is undoubtedly being hampered by the fact that bed occupancy is continuously  in excess of 100%.

“Simply, it is practically impossible for the hospital to comprehensively address these infection control issues while there is such inadequate bed spacing between patients. HIQA reports that staff, patients and visitors do not have proper access to wash hand basins due to overcrowding of wards.

“A new patient accommodation unit is due to be completed in 2017, which I fear is too far away for those currently residing in Our Lady of Lourdes.”

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