Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Louth Emma Coffey has called for an independent Patient Safety Audit to be carried out at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.
Ms Coffey made the comments after overcrowding forced the Emergency Department at Drogheda Hospital to close for nearly eight hours.
“Overcrowding in the Emergency Department at Drogheda Hospital has reached crisis point. It is unprecedented for the hospital to have to stop taking emergency calls at such short notice.
“It’s clear that patient safety was a concern when management at the hospital decided to stop dealing with emergency calls. However we know that Drogheda Hospital is continuously overcrowded, and the INMO consistently rank the hospital as the worst offender when it comes to the number of people stuck on trollies. With this in mind I want to ensure that patient safety is not being put at risk at the hospital.
“I am calling on Minister for Health Leo Varadkar to carry out an independent Patient Safety Audit at the hospital. Patients, their families and staff all have serious concerns regarding overcrowding at the hospital and its implications for patient safety. An independent review of safety at the hospital will deal with these concerns and will set out the steps that need to be taken to ensure safety standards are being met.
“Fine Gael and Labour have allowed this crisis situation to develop at Drogheda Hospital due to continued inaction. In September a total of 606 people were stuck on trolleys, which represented a threefold increase since 2013. This is before we enter the traditionally busy period of time for Emergency Departments over the winter months. I’m concerned that the crisis will escalate over the coming weeks as staff at the hospital are under resourced.
“A Patient Safety Audit needs to be carried out now coupled with a decisive plan of action to make sure Drogheda Hospital is ‘winter ready’, said Ms Coffey.