PATIENTS who are treated at hospitals in Mallow and Bantry will have to sign informed consent agreements acknowledging they are aware not all services are available due to the HSE’s downgrading scheme.
A hospital model system based on the service changes being implemented across the country has stated that the measure will be needed due to the reduced treatments available in certain facilities.
According to the documentation, smaller hospitals such as those in north and west Cork, will have to ensure their patients know there is no fully operational intensive care unit or “a full spectrum of acute hospital resuscitation” such as intubation and ventilation when entering the building.
If they do not agree to this, patients may not be admitted and instead be transferred to a larger facility.
“A ceiling of care discussion needs to take place and be documented with appropriate patients prior to admission to this facility,” it added.
Under the new system, if a patient in Mallow General or Bantry Hospital deteriorates, there will be a “mandatory acceptance” that the individual should be transferred to “model three or four” hospitals, such as Cork University Hospital (CUH).
Patients requiring acute medical admission will be transferred as appropriate.
Cork East Labour TD and Mallow General Hospital campaigner Seán Sherlock said the documentation was a further sign that the facility can no longer be considered a fully functioning hospital.
“The bottom line here is that capacity will be so reduced that these hospitals will be unviable.
“With this model you could be talking about funnelling an extra 2,500 patients through CUH when they can easily be dealt with in Mallow by reducing surgical capacity and meeting that with increased acute medical capacity,” he said.
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