South Tipperary General Hospital
The Save Our Acute Hospital Services Committee welcomes the long awaited approval for the construction of a 40 bed modular inpatient unit at South Tipperary General Hospital announced by the Minister for Health last Friday.
The announcement is the culmination of almost 2 years work and pressure by the Committee, patients and their families, hospital staff, local and Oireachtas public representatives and the general public. The delivery of these beds by June 2018, will require a hugely concentrated effort and commitment and the dovetailing of a number of processes including tendering, planning, building, fitting out and staffing.
In order to drive this project forward, The Save Our Acute Hospital Services Committee and Oireachtas Members will be meeting H.S.E. Officials on an ongoing basis, starting the first week of November, to make sure targets are set and met.
These modular beds are, of course, only an interim and partial solution to the continuing crisis at the hospital. The delivery of these beds and the crucial future development of permanent beds, new wards and upgraded facilities will require a continued united effort to deliver for the people of the County. The Hospital Committee policy over the last 9 years of inclusivity and united effort of the public, patients, staff, hospital management, the media and the people of all political persuasions and none has been particularly successful.
In this Context, the Committee welcomes the assurance by the Minister for Health, at our meeting on Friday last, that capital funding will be allocated in November’s Capital Budget to allow this process to commence.
The Save Our Acute Hospital Services Committee is seriously concerned at the unacceptable level of mental health services in the County.
The closure of St Michael’s Unit and the transfer of acute inpatient psychiatric beds to Kilkenny and Ennis has been nothing short of disastrous and despite promises of a Rolls Royce community based service, we are now left with an utterly inadequate, under resourced, underfunded and understaffed service.
At our Committee’s request, on Friday last, Minister Harris has agreed that Mr Jim Daly T.D., Minister with responsibility for Mental Health Services will meet a deputation from the Save Our Acute Hospital Services Committee and Oireachtas Members shortly to address these issues.
Seamus Healy T.D. Chairperson Save Our Acute Hospital Services Committee 19/9/2017
The Taoiseach’s reply today regarding South Tipperary General Hospital was absolutely disappointing and unacceptable. As the Taoiseach, the HSE, the management of the hospital and the management of the South-South West hospital group well know, the situation in South Tipperary General Hospital is absolutely atrocious.
Last night Deputy Healy spoke in the Dáil during which time he reminded the Minister for Health of his promises in relation to South Tipperary General Hospital. In particular he sought the urgent provision of additional beds as promised by Minister Harris on his visit to the hospital last year.
Nine months ago Minister Harris visited South Tipperary General Hospital, he described the conditions at the hospital as “utterly unacceptable”, he said “solutions must be found” and that a decision would be made by the end of the year (2016). Nothing has happened. South Tipperary General Hospital is a progressive, forward looking, efficient hospital but unfortunately despite the best efforts of staff there is horrendous chaos at the hospital. Minister Harris must fulfil his promise and make funds available immediately for 40 additional inpatient beds to address the chaos at the hospital caused by the policies of this and previous Governments.
Waiting Lists – Statement in the Dáil 09 February 2017
Seamus Healy TD:
The recent “RTE Investigates” programme told us what we have all known for many years. The nation was rightly shocked. It put the human face of pain and suffering on the figures. The public has been misled. The term “alternative facts” comes to mind. The public is entitled to, must be told and know the truth. The long waiting lists are the result of cuts to services by successive governments, for example, 2,000 beds have been taken out of the system, there is overcrowding in accident and emergency departments, posts are not filled and there is a moratorium on posts. I have been raising these issues for some time.
I recently raised the issue of the urology waiting list at University Hospital Waterford. A letter received by one of my constituents puts the case very plainly:
We are writing to inform you that you have been placed on … waiting list. We will forward you an appointment in due course.
You have been prioritised as: URGENT.
You should expect to be seen within 48+ months.
If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact us.
The constituent must wait more than four years. The reply from the HSE and the Minister, which I received only yesterday, confirms that there is a major problem at University Hospital Waterford. It states, “The clinical risk for the Urology Services is on the Corporate Risk Register and is rated high risk.” The management at the hospital has applied for additional resources, two consultant urologists, support staff and funding to provide a proper service to the hospital. Those resources have not been provided. Will the Minister provide those resources not just for University Hospital Waterford but for all those from the south east, including Tipperary, using the services at the hospital?
I have as promised continued to follow up regarding the Urology Services at Waterford University Hospital where the waiting list is now 48-plus months. I asked Minister for Health Simon Harris what proposals he has to rectify the situation. He has referred my question to the HSE for reply. The HSE have forwarded the following reply.
“PQ *2541/17 “To ask the Minister for Health, in view of the fact that the Urology Outpatient Waiting list at University Hospital Waterford is now 48 months plus, the proposals he has to rectify the situation. [Seamus Healy].
The Health Service Executive has been requested to reply directly to you in the context of the above Parliamentary Question, which you submitted to the Minister for Health for response. I have examined the matter and the following outlines the position.
The total number of referrals to the Urology Service has increased by 90% since Urology commenced in University Hospital Waterford in 2015.
The management of the unprecedented demands faced on the Urology Service in University Hospital Waterford (UHW) is of high priority for UHW Executive Management Board and the Group Leadership Team of the South/South West Hospital Group SSWHG).
The clinical risk for the Urology Services is on the Corporate Risk Register and is rated high risk.
A number of possible solutions within South/South West Hospital Group are being explored including the possible availability of additional day case capacity in South Tipperary General Hospital STGH). It is planned that additional capacity for Urology day cases will become available in STGH in the 2nd quarter of 2017 following the opening of additional day case capacity in STGH.
UHW has also sought additional capacity within the SSWHG however the backlog of patients will require a special initiative.
In order to develop a sustainable solution UHW will continue to seek additional resources including Consultant Urologists and supporting services through the Estimates process. This will include additional cystoscopy and Outpatient Department sessions to ensure that the full presenting need will be met.
Following the approval and recruitment of additional Consultant Urologists, additional OPD, Operating Theatre and bed capacity will be required.”
I will continue to follow up and keep you updated.
Seamus Healy TD