Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said the Irish Medical Organisations ranking of hospitals by the numbers patients on trolleys does not accurately reflect the scale of the challenges present at South Tipperary General Hospital. Deputy McGrath was speaking as STGH has again been ranked as having 26 patients’ on trolleys, the second highest in the country next to Cork University Hospital (CUH) which has 27:
“While I do not doubt the accuracy of the patient count at the respective hospitals, I am raising concerns regarding the manner in which the numbers can mask problems that CUH for example simply will not have to face.
To continue comparing the two facilities is unfair for the simple reason that South Tipperary General has probably a third less space that CUH, while at the same time it consistently has the equivalent amount of patients waiting for a bed.
Our hospital has to deal with narrow corridors and cramped spaces, something which CUH as a more modern facility does not have to encounter on such a regular basis.
We know that in the years previous to 2015 STGH had an escalation plan for such high numbers of trolleys that did not include the Full Capacity Protocol but had instead a tiered response to the activity within the Emergency Department.
But what these numbers continue to show is that neither the previous policy or the newly developed Full Capacity Protocol has come anywhere near addressing the crisis situations.
We seem to be simply changing the titles of the Emergency Department Directives with absolutely zero change in outcomes for patients on trolleys.
I am appealing to the Minister for Health Simon Harris and indeed the HSE, to spend less time cobbling together useless and ineffective protocols and to spend more time and money delivering urgently needed services like the proposed temporary modular accommodation unit which has not even exited the tender stage yet.” concluded Deputy McGrath.