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Shock rise in hospital waiting lists


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Shock rise in hospital waiting lists

The number of patients waiting more than nine months for hospital treatment has skyrocketed over the past two months after falling substantially in 2012, new figures show.

Latest figures show that of 2,141 adult and child patients were waiting over nine months for a hospital procedure at the end of February, compared to only 109 patients in this category at the end of 2012.

Of these, 396 patients are waiting over 12 months for treatment, compared to only 37 at the end of last year, while 1,745 are waiting between nine and 12 months for treatment, compared to only 72 at the end of December.

The Department of Health told irishhealth.com that winter pressures in hospital emergency departments had led to the increase, but it expected the waiting lists to reduce again as winter pressure on hospitals eased.

The average waiting time for treatment for patients on waiting lists has increased from 2.1 to 2.7 months since December.

The total number on waiting lists in all time categories has increased from 51,708 to 53,400 over the past two months, according to new figures produced by the National Treatment Purchase Fund’s (NTPF) Patient Treatment Register.

The recent major rise in ‘long waiters’ on treatment lists follows a huge reduction in the number of patients waiting over nine months for treatment in 2012 as a result of an initiative by Health Minister James Reilly‘s Special Delivery Unit (SDU).

The NTPF figures show that the number of patients waiting over nine months for treatment dropped from 4,884 in February 2012 down to 109 in December. During that period, the average waiting time for treatment dropped from 3.1 to 2.1 months.

Minister Reilly and the HSE had pledged that no patient would be waiting over nine months for treatment by the end of 2012, and the current target is to reduce the maximum treatment waiting time to eight months this year.

The figures would indicate that Dr Reilly’s waiting list initiative is in danger of coming off the rails following the recent increase in waiting numbers and waiting times.

However, a Department of Health spokesperson said ‘significant bounceback’ in waiting times in the early months of this year was expected, as winter pressures in emergency departments had impacted on scheduled care waiting times.

“In the coming months, as winter pressures ease, the SDU will work towards re-balancing scheduled care both to maintain the improvements seen in 2012 and to achieve the new 2013 target that no adult should be waiting longer than eight months for treatment.”

The Department said the figure of 2,14 people waiting over nine months for treatment was the total number of adults and children waiting and patients waiting for routine endoscopes, each of which had different targets.

The figures show that around 97% of the 2,141 figure comprises adults waiting over nine months for treatment, with the remainder made up of children awaiting treatment and patients awaiting endoscopies.

The new figures show that Dublin’s Mater Hospital has the highest proportion of long waiters for hospital procedures.

The Mater currently has 5,011 patients on waiting lists for hospital treatment, of which 521 have been waiting longer than nine months for treatment, or 10% of total patients on waiting lists at the hospital.

The hospital with the next worst record for long waiters is Cork University Hospital, where 236 (just under 9%) of its 2,708 patients on waiting lists have been waiting over nine months for treatment.

The hospital with the largest number of patients on waiting lists is St James’s in Dublin, with 5,529. However, only 3.5% of these patients have been waiting over nine months for treatment.

via News stories about the Irish hospital system.

via News stories about the Irish hospital system.

12,000 admissions to hospitals are cancelled


Nearly 12,000 patients have had their admission to hospital for treatments such as surgery cancelled between March and September this year.

Although there is a range of reasons for this, the most common problem is that the bed the patient due admission was going to be placed in had to be given to a patient who came through the hospital emergency department.

A lack of intensive care beds can also lead to cancellations because they are already occupied, leaving patients who will need to be admitted after surgery, waiting longer for their operation.

The cancellation can cause major upset and inconvenience as well as being very disruptive for someone who badly needs to have an operation or test.

The figures, supplied by the HSE, reveal that hospitals with the most overcrowded and busy emergency departments also had the biggest number of cancellations.

They include St James’s Hospital (5,289), Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children Crumlin (2,432), Beaumont Hospital(2,165), Cork University Hospital (1,228) and Tallaght Hospital (889).

via 12,000 admissions to hospitals are cancelled – Health News, Health – Independent.ie.

via 12,000 admissions to hospitals are cancelled – Health News, Health – Independent.ie.

 

Thousands protest over Waterford hospital


A lobby group formed less than two weeks ago brought more than 12,000 people onto the streets of Waterford at the weekend in protest against what they see as the latest official attack on the city.

The group, Save Waterford, staged the demonstration in response to fears of a downgrading of Waterford Regional Hospital.

Organisers, who joined with the Waterford Gives a Shirt campaigning group for Saturday’s event, said they were also angry about other “Government neglect” of Waterford and the wider region.

Examples cited included the plan to merge Waterford City Council with the county council and job losses that have left the area with the highest unemployment rate in the country.

“The people of Waterford and the people of the southeast have sent a clear message: don’t touch our hospital,” organiser Andrea Galgey said.

She and fellow organiser Gillian Sauvage Corcoran came together on Facebook and established Save Waterford.

“The hospital was the final nail in the coffin for the people of Waterford. Enough is enough. There is no county in Ireland that hasn’t been hit by the recession, but if you look at the statistics Waterford has been hit more than others,” Ms Galgey said.

The march trended on Twitter throughout Saturday afternoon and the group’s Facebook page had almost 3,400 “likes”.

The march came amid speculation that the Government will move to implement the report of an expert group, currently with the Department of Health, that is believed to recommend the break-up of the southeast’s hospital network.

Such a plan would see Waterford Regional Hospital and South Tipperary General Hospital linking up with Cork University Hospital and St Luke’s General Hospital in Kilkenny, and Wexford General Hospital partnering with teaching hospitals in Dublin. It is feared in Waterford that the end of the southeastern network would lead to some services being transferred from the region.

Minister for Health James Reilly said last week no decision had yet been made on the issue.

Government TDs Paudie Coffey (Fine Gael) and Ciara Conway (Labour) from Waterford were at the march, along with Independent politicians including TD John Halligan and politicians from neighbouring counties such as Carlow-Kilkenny FG TD John Paul Phelan.

Others who attended included Prof Riona Mulcahy, consultant geriatrician at Waterford Regional Hospital.

“I marched first and foremost as a mother of five young children and as a concerned citizen,” she said.

The hospital’s clinical director, Dr Rob Landers, said the organisers and everyone who took part deserved “great credit for standing up and being counted” in support of the southeast’s hospitals.

Kerry protest: Taoiseach heckled

Taoiseach Enda Kenny told a group of protesters in Killarney, Co Kerry, who shouted at him about his “pension pot” and accused him of neglecting the poor: “I don’t come from a family of millionaires.”

The protesters, who said they were from the United Left Alliance’s Kerry branch, heckled Mr Kenny as he approached the Plaza Hotel.

Asked by a woman who he would meet in heaven, he said: “I hope to meet St Peter at the gate, anyway. I hope he sends me to the right- hand side.”

Mr Kenny was attending the awarding of the Msgr Hugh O’Flaherty international humanitarian award to Sr Agnes Hunt, the first woman to be appointed chaplain of a men’s prison in England.

via Thousands protest over Waterford hospital – The Irish Times – Mon, Nov 12, 2012.

via Thousands protest over Waterford hospital – The Irish Times – Mon, Nov 12, 2012.

Health Innovation Hub launches to help healthcare companies create solutions faster – Irish Innovation News – Siliconrepublic.com


Health Innovation Hub launches to help healthcare companies create solutions faster

Health Innovation Hub launches to help healthcare companies create solutions faster

Michael Fitzgerald, CEO of Abtran, one of the companies participating in the Health Innovation Hub demonstrator project

A new healthcare project has launched in Cork today to bring together six healthcare companies with the health system and academia in order to help such companies move faster on developing products and services.

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton, TD, and the Minister for Health Dr James Reilly, TD, launched the new Health Innovation Hub project at University College Cork (UCC) today.

The project, which has been based on international models, such as the North Carolina Research Triangle, is aiming to progress healthcare technologies.

The idea is to help healthcare companies deliver commercial products and services more quickly by giving them access to the health service in order to test products in a real-life environment. Another aim of the project is to allow the health service to become more efficient by enabling the HSE and hospitals to engage and participate with companies that are creating solutions.

Six Irish healthcare companies will now be taking part in the demonstrator project. They include Abtran, which is working on a GP referral system in hospitals to reduce costs, improve waiting lists and improve patient care. Arann Healthcare is working with Cork University Hospital to develop a mattress sterilisation product.

Helix Health is pioneering an electronic prescription service to send prescriptions automatically from GPs to pharmacies. Radisens Diagnostics is working with hospitals to develop technology to allow GPs to take and process blood tests in their surgeries.

Rigney Dolphin is working with Cork University Hospital (CUH) to develop a post-discharge patient telephone follow-up programme. The aim is to help prevent avoidable re-admissions and to improve continuity of care. Sláinte Healthcare is developing paperless testing data with the Warfarin Clinic at CUH.

A collaborative venture between Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland, Science Foundation Ireland, the HSE, Cork Institute of Technology and University College Cork, the hub is being driven by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and the Department of Health.

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Dave Shanahan, head of strategic health initiatives at Abbott and national project team chairman, said Ireland is now recognising the “critical role” the national healthcare system has in supporting domestic innovation and commercialisation.

“The global healthcare market of US$2.5trn requires ongoing product and service innovation. Ireland, with its unique concentration of pharmaceutical, medical device and ICT industries, is uniquely placed to exploit this market, provided we join up all elements of the value chain,” he said.

via Health Innovation Hub launches to help healthcare companies create solutions faster – Irish Innovation News – Siliconrepublic.com.

via Health Innovation Hub launches to help healthcare companies create solutions faster – Irish Innovation News – Siliconrepublic.com.

Health Concerns


Dublin concerns about ambulance services.

Dublin South West TD Seán Crowe has said that cuts to ambulance services in Dublin city, county and its hinterland “will inevitably put lives at risk and lead to longer response times from a vastly reduced service”.

He made the comments after he was told that on Tuesday the Tallaght area was to be short of an ambulance at Airton Road between the hours of 7pm and 7am.

 

 Dublin Mater Hospital

Concerns over infection risk as Mater tells staff: ‘Wash your own scrubs’

MEDICAL STAFF in the emergency department at the Mater hospital have been told to buy and clean their own ‘scrubs’ as part of hospital spending cutbacks – a move some staff fear poses a major infection risk.

 

Dublin St Michael’s

208 adults with an intellectual disability live with parents aged 70 or over in Dublin, writes PAUL CULLEN, Health Correspondent

THE BIGGEST provider of services for the intellectually disabled in Dublin has warned of “devastating implications” for families of any further cuts in December’s budget.

St Michael’s House says it is deeply concerned about the prospect of a fifth year of cuts as part of continuing austerity next year.

The organisation has launched a campaign to get the Government to consider the impact of cuts next year before imposing a fifth successive yearly reduction in its budget.

 

 

Cork

PEOPLE IN WEST Cork angry over the loss of their fourth ambulance are to push a stretcher bed from Skibbereen to Cork University Hospital in protest later this week.

The four-day long protest will take place from 17 – 20 October (Wednesday – Saturday) and will involve a group of relay teams taking it in turns to push the bed.

LAOIS

Laois T.D. Sean Fleming has absolutely no regrets over his decision to storm out of the Dáil Public Accounts Committee meeting on Tuesday, October 9, where he labelled health officials as “a disgrace and not fit for office.”

Speaking to the Leinster Express Deputy Fleming fumed that it was “outrageous” for the Department of Health Secretary General Dr. Ambrose McLoughlin and new H.S.E. Chief Executive Tony O’Brien to attempt to “stonewall the P.A.C. and the people of Ireland” by refusing to answer questions on their 2012 budget overspend.

 

WEXFORD

A public protest against the closure of an operating theater at Wexford General Hospital was held outside the hospital last Saturday afternoon.

Councilor Anthony Kelly of Sinn Fein is calling on Wexford’s Oireachtas members to come out immediately and call for this decision to be reversed.

National

IN THE 2011 Programme for Government, the Labour Party and Fine Gael say additional funding will be provided each year for the care of older people.

“This funding will go to more residential places, more home-care packages and the delivery of more home help and other professional community care services

 

Health Concerns in Hospitals


Almost every national or local paper you pick up in Ireland has something to say about cutbacks, staffing, budget overruns, wards closing etc.

If this continues hospitals are more likely to become places of risk rather than a place where the ill or injured are treated.

Beware you local hospital may kill you.

Here are just a few examples

Donegal Daily:

LETTERKENNY General Hospital is the worst funded hospital in the State, receiving the least amount of cash per patient.

And staffing levels per patient are also the worst, figures obtained by Sinn Fein TDs Pádraig MacLochlainn and Pearse Doherty show.

The TDs released the figures to Donegal Daily – confirming a report on this site more than nine months ago.

Dublin hospitals get twice as much cash.

Roscommon Herald

THERE ARE growing concerns over staffing levels at Roscommon County Hospital where numbers remain below the employment ceiling, the Herald can reveal.

Local sources have this week raised concern over staffing levels at the hospital, which remain below the permitted ceiling of 285 whole time equivalent (WTE) staff, according to the latest figures available.

New figures show that staff levels were 2.5 percent below the WTE ceiling in the month of June, when there were 279.73 staff at the hospital.

The concerns come as it also emerges that the county hospital had the highest absenteeism levels in the Galway/Roscommon Hospital Group and that agency and overtime costs had been dramatically cut over the past year.

Figures for June showed that absenteeism levels exceeded seven percent at the county hospital. This compared to four percent at Galway University and Portiuncula hospitals.

A further breakdown of the figures showed that absenteeism rates at the county hospital were highest among other patient and client care staff (12.5%), management and admin staff (9.9%) and nursing staff (9.5%).

Wexford Echo

A public protest against the closure of an operating theatre at Wexford General Hospital  will be held outside the hospital on Saturday afternoon.

Cllr. Anthony Kelly of Sinn Fein is calling on Wexford’s Oireachtas members to immediately come out and call for this decision to be reversed.

“I’m calling on the people of County Wexford, irrespective of their political beliefs, to come out and support this event,” said Cllr. Kelly, who added, “The buck clearly stops with the Minister for Health.”

RTE NEWS

The hospital was over budget by over €10m in July.

It said it sought a letter of support from the Health Service Executive for the overdraft from AIB.

In a statement tonight, the hospital said it was managing its finances prudently and had made savings of 6% in its budget this year, despite a 5% increase in in-patient care.

Tallaght is one of around five major hospitals that are heavily over budget and last year it was over budget by over €14m.

The Government has said there will be no supplementary health budget to assist health overruns.

The HSE said tonight that under Service Level Agreements (SLAs) these hospitals are permitted to seek an overdraft up to 7% of their budget for the final quarter of the year.

Other hospitals that have exceeded their budgets are Beaumont, Limerick Regional, Galway University Hospital and Cork University Hospital.

Tallaght Hospital secures €12m overdraft from AIB – RTÉ News


Talllaght Hospital was over budget by over €10m in July

The hospital was over budget by over €10m in July.

It said it sought a letter of support from the Health Service Executive for the overdraft from AIB.

In a statement tonight, the hospital said it was managing its finances prudently and had made savings of 6% in its budget this year, despite a 5% increase in in-patient care.

Tallaght is one of around five major hospitals that are heavily over budget and last year it was over budget by over €14m.

The Government has said there will be no supplementary health budget to assist health overruns.

The HSE said tonight that under Service Level Agreements (SLAs) these hospitals are permitted to seek an overdraft up to 7% of their budget for the final quarter of the year.

Other hospitals that have exceeded their budgets are Beaumont, Limerick Regional, Galway University Hospital and Cork University Hospital.

via Tallaght Hospital secures €12m overdraft from AIB – RTÉ News.

via Tallaght Hospital secures €12m overdraft from AIB – RTÉ News.

Munster hospitals €40m over budget


Munster hospitals €40m over budget

By Fiachra Ó Cionnaith

Monday, September 10, 2012

Hospitals in Munster were €39.81m in the red by the halfway point this year, with none able to stay within budget just months after a €48.94m cut to their funds.

Figures detailed in today’s Irish Examiner show that while Health Minister James Reilly may be forced to cut hospital cash even further in coming weeks, facilities are already struggling to cope.

The HSE’s performance-monitoring report updates reveal that, of the 12 main hospitals in HSE South and six in HSE Mid West, none are within budget.

By July, the facilities were a total of €39.81m over budget, with the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Limerick about €11.91m in the red.

The Cork University Hospital Group, which includes CUH and CUMH, was €8.28m over budget, while Wexford General was €2.84m over budget.

via Munster hospitals €40m over budget | Irish Examiner.

via Munster hospitals €40m over budget | Irish Examiner.

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