Hospital services

People in Tipperary ‘deserve better’ when it comes to hospital services

Tipperary Sinn Féin TD Martin Browne and Nenagh Finn Féin representative Damian O’Donoghue responded to Hiqa’s report about the emergency department at Limerick University Hospital.

The report, which follows an unannounced inspection before the extended bank holiday in March, found the hospital did not meet HSE patient safety and dignity standards or workforce capacity standards ‘work.

Speaking when the report was released, Deputy Browne and Mr O’Donoghue said: ‘We are extremely concerned by HIQA’s findings that the hospital failed to meet safety and dignity standards HSE patient or workforce capability standards.

Teachta Browne said: “The content of this report reinforces the need to develop a comprehensive plan to address the serious capacity shortfalls of the University of Limerick Hospital Group and the wider Community Healthcare Group 3 .

“Challenges at the UHL emergency department have created serious problems in Tipperary, Limerick and Clare, with patients needing admission to a hospital bed waiting an average of almost 15 hours in Limerick.

“It is outrageous how the emergency department resuscitation room was used for Covid-19 and for overflow patients. This was clearly not conducive to staff or patient safety, and is in no way acceptable.

“Failure to follow the plan of service providers and workforce management to achieve safe and reliable health care endangers the health, safety and dignity of patients is also intolerable.

“People in North Tipperary, Limerick and Clare have been let down by the government and hospital management.

“The University of Limerick Hospital Group and Community Health Care Group 3, which cover the same area, need to be fully merged and resourced to address the many serious capacity shortfalls across the Midwest.

Mr O’Donoghue, who has campaigned for better healthcare in the Midwest, said: ‘Nenagh Hospital has a role to play here, and I note that the UHL compliance plan involves more a role for Nenagh Hospital.

“While this is welcome, I must also stress that this is a call that the people of Tipperary have been making for a long time. More needs to be done.

“Patients deserve much better from health services and this Hiqa report clearly shows the cost of government neglect in the Midwest.

“North Tipperary deserves better health care planning, but years of underinvestment have held back the health service.