Fianna Fáil Clare TD, Timmy Dooley, has expressed grave concern with changes to rosters at the Mid-West Regional Hospital, which means that elderly patients from Clare will no longer be directly assigned to geriatric specialists.
Deputy Dooley says this will place even more strain on the already overcrowded A&E department at the hospital, leading to longer delays for all and poorer outcomes for patients.
“It was normal practice at the Mid West Regional Hospital that elderly patients were admitted under specialists in Elderly Medicine. This has suddenly changed and now patients over 75 years of age will have to attend A&E when they present to hospital.
“This will automatically mean longer waiting hours for all patients at the hospital but this will pose a particular problem for elderly patients. The process of admitting patients under Elderly Medicine has been in place for 15 years and has had a significant positive impact on the health of elderly patients from Clare.
“There has been rapid diagnosis and treatment for age associated illness through the Doctors’ expertise. The sudden axing of this service will cause extreme concern to elderly patients and their families, who have relied on this expertise in Elderly Medicine and will undoubtedly lead to poorer outcomes for patients.
“I fear that this will also lead to poorer levels of diagnosis and therefore delayed access to appropriate treatment for elderly patients. This could also mean that elderly patients will end up being admitted to hospital for longer periods, which places even more pressure of the acute hospital system.”