Call for full inquiry into reported staff shortages at Mayo A&E

Mayo General Hospital, Castlebar

Mayo General Hospital, Castlebar

An Independent county councillor is to call on the HSE to launch a full inquiry into what he says are clearly, very serious staffing issues at the accident and emergency department in Mayo General Hospital.

Councillor Michael Kilcoyne is a member of the HSE West Regional Health Forum, which makes representations to the HSE on local health services.

Cllr Kilcoyne said he will be asking the HSE to launch an inquiry at the health forum's next meeting on September 22.

Cllr Kilcoyne was speaking after it emerged during an inquest in Castlebar on Monday that nursing staff in A&E had highlighted serious staffing problems there on numerous occasions before a patient died of a brain haemorrhage after he didn't get the appropriate treatment on time.

A verdict of death by medical misadventure was returned at the inquest into the death of 82-year-old Darby King, Derrynaclecka, Castlebar, who died at Mayo General Hospital three days after he was involved in a traffic accident in April 2014.

"This is the first solid evidence in the public arena that staff at the hospital sent emails complaining to management that they were short staffed," said Cllr Kilcoyne. "Management seem to have failed in dealing with those emails."

Cllr Kilcoyne said he was "appalled" by the evidence that emerged at the inquest into Mr King's death, particularly as he has been accused of "scaremongering" in the past when he raised concerns about patient safety and staffing levels at Mayo General Hospital.

"I want to find out what is going on and I intend to raise this at the September meeting of the health forum. I will be calling for a full enquiry into what happened.

"I also want to know about other complaints that were made by staff at the hospital in relation to staffing levels."

The Saolta University Health Care Group, which includes Mayo General Hospital, issued a statement to the Mayo Advertiser on the inquest findings.

"The Saolta University Health Care Group would again like to express its deepest sympathy to the family of the late Mr Darby King (RIP )," reads the statement.

"The general manager of Mayo General Hospital met with the family of Mr King last year and apologised to them for any short comings that occurred in their late father’s care and the anxiety and distress it caused his family.

"An internal investigation has taken place into the care and management of Mr King and following the approval of the report by the Saolta Group Serious Incident Management Team (SIMT ); Mr King’s family were provided with a copy of the report."

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