Fianna Fáil Health Spokesperson Billy Kelleher has today written to the Minister for Health urging him to order an independent audit of patient safety at the emergency departments when the overcrowding crisis is most acute.
Deputy Kelleher made the recommendation as the number of patients on trolleys in EDs and on wards in hospitals across the country topped 420 again yesterday.
Deputy Kelleher commented: “I am extremely concerned by the patient safety concerns facing certain hospitals on a daily basis. We’re facing serious problems in the weeks and months ahead. I’m really worried that our health service isn’t ‘winter ready’. We already know Minister Varadkar has expressed concerns about the trolley numbers in August despite being warned months ago about the dangers being stored up from years of bogus budgets and unrealistic target expectations.
“HIQA carries out an important role in monitoring patient safety and standards in our hospitals. I am aware the HSE boss Tony O’Brien is meeting with hospitals that have high levels of overcrowding since taking over as Chair of Emergency Taskforce. I believe a further, more detailed audit regarding patient safety is needed. It is critical that Minister Varadkar ensures this survey is carried out to reassure patients and their families regarding our emergency departments.”