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David Cullinane TD welcomes cross party support for improved cardiac services at University Hospital Waterford

11 July, 2017 - by David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin TD for Waterford David Cullinane has welcomed an agreement from a cross section of the Dáil on a motion supporting improved cardiac services at University Hospital Waterford.

Deputy Cullinane has sought a meeting with the Minister for Health Simon Harris to discuss the motion and the Minister has agreed to such a meeting.

Speaking today, Deputy Cullinane said:

"I welcome the cross party support for this motion. Deputy Mary Butler and I have worked well together on this issue as will continue to do so. This issue is above party politics.

"The need for 24/7 emergency cardiac care in the Southeast is real and needs to be vindicated.

"The Herity Report is fundamentally flawed and needs to be taken off the table. The Government is committed to a fresh review. This needs to be done urgently and with an appropriate terms of reference.

"Any future reviews need to be carried out speedily and be fully Independent from the Department of Health and HSE.

"The recent passing of Thomas Power has tragically brought the truth home. University Hospital Waterford must be the regional provider of emergency cardiac care for all patients in the South East."


Text of motion:

That Dail Eireann notes

- The publication in 2012 of A Model of Care for Acute Coronary Syndrome to standardise treatment of patients suffering from heart attack in its different forms in this state;
- The finding of this 2012 report that University Hospital Waterford has the potential to develop into a 24/7 service following infrastructural and staff developments;
- The 2015 estimate that such a 24/7 service could be provided at a total annual current cost of €2.7m and capital cost of  €1.9m;
- The publication in May 2013 of a Government report 'The Establishment of Hospital Groups as a transition to Independent Trusts' otherwise known as the Higgins Report;
- That the Higgins Report recommends that University Hospital Waterford continue to provide invasive cardiology services for the South East population;
- That the demand for service in the single cath lab in the South East has grown greatly since the inception of the lab and it has now grown beyond the infrastructure committed to it;
- The unacceptable wait times being encountered for outpatient and inpatient care which are seriously detrimental to wellbeing and arise solely because of the lack of an additional cath lab facility on the University Hospital Waterford campus;
- That this risk was recognized by the HSE over several years with the lack of a second facility identified as a critical risk, on the formal HSE risk register;
- The Programme for Government committed to the development of a second Cath Lab at UHW subject to a favourable recommendation from an Independent Clinical review;
- The Publication of a report entitled 'Independent Clinical Review of Provision of a Second Catheterisation Laboratory at University Hospital Waterford' otherwise known as the Herity Report:
- The South East Region is the only region nationally without a 24/7 cardiac care service;
- Multiple worldwide clinical assessment of primary emergency coronary angioplasty and stenting for ST elevated heart attack has been demonstrated to only be effective if carried out soon after the first presentation of symptons of heart attack; and

Further notes:
- That the Herity Report calls for the current limited hours provision of Primary PCI at UHW cease entirely:
- That this would result in all emergency cardiac patients in the Southeast having to travel to hospitals in Cork and Dublin for treatment
- The inadequacy of the current Air Ambulance service to meet the need of patients in the South East;
- The poor road infrastructure between University Hospital Waterford and Cork University Hospital;
- The need to enhance ambulance services and response times; and

Calls on the Government to:
- Immediately initiate a second independent review into provision of cardiac care in the South East;
- Ensure the review commence its work within 6 weeks of the passing of this motion and reaches a speedy conclusion cognisant of the sensitive issues involved; and agrees that the terms of reference for this regional review are:

- Agreed by all parties and groups prior to commencement and are framed in the context of existing regional policy
-Based on the need for 24/7 PPCI at University Hospital Waterford to ensure safe and accessible emergency cardiac care for the population of the South East
- Based on clinical and medical need and underpinned by the National Clinical Programme  and consults widely and appropriately with regional clinicians and medical experts
- Based on the actual population of the South East and not an arbitrary effective catchment population
-Cognisant of the range of travel time to hospitals outside the region and not simply the average time;

And the Review further:

- Respects the status of University Hospital Waterford as a regional hospital providing a regional cardiac service
- Identifies need and capacity based on the geographical area the hospital serves - namely the population of the South East
- Delivers on the commitment in the Higgins Report that University Hospital Waterford continues to provide interventional cardiac care to patients in the South East.

Signed by all Fianna Fáil TDs, all Sinn Féin TDs, all Labour Party TDs, all Green Party TDs, all Rural Alliance TDs and by TDs Mick Wallace/Clare Daly.

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