Minister urged to act over UCHG

THERE have been calls for the Minister for Health to intervene in at University College Hospital Galway (UCHG) after it was found to be the worst-performing hospital in the country for the second month running.

Following publication of the Health Service Executive’s (HSE’s) Healthstat report, HSE West Regional Forum chairman, Cllr Padraig Conneely (FG), said: “It is time now for Minster James O’Reilly to intervene and call in management at the hospital.

He said: “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.”

The Galway city-based councillor said: “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 Healthstat survey of the country’s 29 main acute hospitals found that the best performing were Letterkenny General Hospital, St James’s Hospital, St Collumcille’s Hospital, Cavan General Hospital and St Vincent’s University Hospital.

The survey found UCHG to be the only hospital in the ‘red’ zone, indicating that the hospital’s level of service requires attention.

The figures for UCHG for January show that in excess of 40% of patients were waiting between 12 and 24 hours to be admitted through the hospital’s A&E with less than 5% waiting in excess of 24 hours. &&

A spokeswoman for the HSE West said last night: “Senior management at Galway University Hospitals have been working closely with the regional director of operations, HSE West, the national director for integrated services and the CEO to address issues raised by HealthStat.

“We recognise that there are opportunities for improvement which are not resource dependent and these are being prioritised by quality improvement, clinical and administration support groups within the hospital.”

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