Bill Tormey demands the publication of A&E trolley reports on Cavan and Beaumont Hospitals

Up to 52 patients waiting on trolleys

by Michael Cryan

Health Forum members demand an explanation

Cavan General Hospital.
Some elective procedures had to be cancelled at Cavan General Hospital last week as a result of the high number of patients on trolleys on Thursday and Friday, it was confirmed at the January meeting of the Regional Health Forum, Dublin/Northeast on Monday.

Paddy O’Reilly from Virginia was far from happy with the current situation in the hospital and demanded an explanation. He pointed out that on Thursday there were 42 patients on trolleys while on Friday it increased to 52. “This is not good enough and I want to know if any elective procedures had to be suspended as a result of these figures and if the Medical Assessment Unit was closed.”
Stephen Mulvany, regional director of operations, Integrated Services Directorate, claimed the Emergency Department in the hospital was busy last week and a number of steps were taken to deal with the surge in the number of patients with acute medical conditions requiring hospital admission.
“In order to help ensure that patients coming through the Emergency Department were treated as quickly as possible a number of measures were implemented at the hospital over the weekend. Additional medical staff, including consultant cover and a radiologist, were rostered over the weekend to support the On Call Medical team. Enhanced Emergency Department Consultant cover was also provided,” he said.
The measures taken on Friday, he added, significantly resolved the issues and patient waiting times were reduced and on Monday morning there were no patients waiting on admission. Mr. Mulvany stated that there was a restriction to elective procedures but people requiring surgery were dealt with.
To allow the hospital to return to normal levels of activity the following measures were implemented: from Monday to Friday, January 24-28, all elective cases would be deferred with the exception of patients for minor procedures under local anaesthetic as well as all children’s procedures. All non-urgent outpatient endoscopy sessions would be deferred, while urgent surgical endoscopies would be performed in Monaghan Hospital.
“All patients affected by the deferral of elective activity will be contacted directly by the hospital and appointments will be rescheduled within an appropriate time frame,” he said.
Cavan hospital is performing well and no other services were currently affected by this curtailment. All emergency and maternity services continue to be provided as normal at the hospital and outpatient clinics were also unaffected, he said. With regard to the Medical Assessment Unit it was not closed, he claimed.
Mr. O’Reilly enquired if there as anything in place to prevent this from happening in the future?
Monaghan representative Brian McKenna pointed out that if Monaghan Hospital was open there would be no waiting list in Cavan.
Chairman, Bill Tormey, said a report was prepared for both Cavan and Beaumont hospital and he would like to see them published. “The people of Cavan are entitled to know what was going on.”
Mr. O’Reilly said the staff at the coalface had to be congratulated for the excellent work they have done in the hospital and Mr. Mulvany acknowledged the hard work and dedication of all staff during that busy time.
Mr. Mulvany added that the HSE would encourage the public to keep Emergency Departments for emergencies and would advise people to contact their GP or GP out of hours services in the first instance.