HSE says Mayor’s A&E ‘hellhole’ allegation is untrue

Mayor’s comment shows litle respect for hospital staff, says health body

The HSE West has rejected an allegation by City Mayor Padraig Conneely that University Hospital Galway’s A&E department is a “ hellhole”.

The local health authority said his comment was “untrue” and “showed little respect for hospital staff working to provide a quality service in difficult circumstances”.

The Fine Gael councillor made his comment during a discussion on UHG’s poor rating in the first league table ranking hospital performances at a meeting of the HSE’s regional health forum west at Merlin Park Hospital.

He claimed there was “absolute chaos” at the regional hospital’s A&E department on Monday night. He said there were 60 people there when he visited including a 20 year old cancer patient who was waiting for a bed from 8am that day.

“He’s still there today [Tuesday afternoon] waiting for a bed. The public knows what’s going on and they’re aware of the mess in A&E. You [Dr Sean Conroy, director of the HSE West’s regional health office] Professor Brendan Drumm [HSE CEO] and Professor Tom Keane [national cancer chief] stand over the hellhole there.”

Forum chairman Cllr Tomas Mannion (B/sloe ) said he did not want to be associated with Mayor Conneely’s comments about UHG.

Dr Sean Conroy told the meeting he had worked at A&E and the doctors, nurses and staff were working as hard as they could.

Cllr Conneely said he was excepting them. “I’m talking about the system.”

Dr Conroy said people did not come to the hospital by invitation, they come because they are sick. Sometimes the demand there is “almost overwhelming” he said but the hospital does its best to attend to people as fast as it can.

“It is important to have pride in our hospital. To suggest our flagship hospital is a hellhole is nonsense,” he said.

Mayor Conneely said it was a “hellhole” on Monday night. “I was there for two hours.”

“It is important to have pride in our hospital. To suggest our flagship hospital is a hellhole is nonsense,” he said.

Mayor Conneely said it was a “hellhole” on Monday night. “I was there for two hours.”

A statement issued by the HSE West on Tuesday evening after the forum meeting outlined there were 24 patients at the emergency department that morning.

“The ED was extremely busy over the past 24 hours with 236 patients attending. Our usual attendance would be between 160 to 170 patients in 24 hours. By 2pm [on Tuesday] beds had been identified for all patients awaiting admission this morning.

“[Monday] was an extremely busy day at the hospital overall with 70 emergency admissions through the emergency department and 27 elective admissions, excluding day cases and obs/gynae admissions. The ED Department continued to be very busy [on Tuesday] and we have a contingency plan in place. University Hospital Galway regrets that any patient would have to wait in our emergency department after it has been decided to admit them.”

The spokesperson outlined that a cancer patient who attended the oncology day ward at UHG on Monday was deemed to require admission at 6pm. The patient was placed on a trolley in a single room and given a bed on Tuesday afternoon.

”Cllr Conneely’s allegations of UHG being “a hell hole” or “a chamber of horrors” are untrue and show little respect for hospital staff working to provide a high quality service in difficult circumstances.”

 

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