Minister asked to ‘fix’ worst hospital

THE chairman of the HSE West Regional Forum, Padraig Conneely, has called on Health Minister, James Reilly, to intervene in the performance of University College Hospital Galway.

The Fine Gael councillor made his call after the HSE’s monthly Healthstat report confirmed the hospital was the worst performing in the country.

The report came to the same conclusion about UCHG for the second consecutive month and Cllr Conneely said: “It is time now for Minster Reilly to intervene and call in management at the hospital.

“UCHG is the biggest acute hospital in the west of Ireland and it is embarrassing for us that it finds itself again as the worst performing hospital in the country.

“Patient care is suffering and it must be dealt with. This cannot continue. A hands-on approach from the minister is required.

“Others in the acute hospital system are getting it right, so the reason why UCHG is not getting it right is the way the hospital is managed. I don’t want to see another Healthstat report where Galway finds itself as the worst performing hospital.”

The survey of the country’s 29 main acute hospitals found the best performing were Letterkenny General Hospital, St James’s, St Collumcille’s, Cavan General and St Vincent’s.

UCHG was the only hospital in the ‘red’ zone, indicating that the hospital’s level of service required attention. The figures, for January, show in excess of 40% of patients were waiting between 12 and 24 hours to be admitted through the hospital’s emergency department & with less than 5% waiting in excess of 24 hours.

This compared to more than 90% of patients being admitted under six hours at the emergency department& of St James’s Hospital.

In the ‘red’, ‘amber’ and ‘green’ marking system, UCHG scored red under a number of headings including consultant contracts compliance, funding, variance with staff ceiling and waiting times for elective procedures.

A reported contributory factor to the overall performance was that UCHG had the third worst absenteeism rate in the country behind Navan and Cavan general hospitals.

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