Mayo Fine Gael TDs John O’Mahony and Michelle Mulherin have welcomed the announcement by the Department of Health that the number of patients waiting on trolleys at Mayo General Hospital has fallen by 15 per cent in the first nine months of this year as compared to 2012, evidence of the commitment by staff at the hospital in ensuring that patients always come first.
O’Mahony said “In an ideal world, there would be no patient ever waiting in a trolley but unfortunately it is the case that patients have to. Everyone that works in a hospital wants this wait to be as short as possible and staff are always working towards that aim. The staff at Mayo General is no different from those that work in other hospitals and it’s encouraging to note that this year’s statistics show a significant improvement on last year. That is down to the commitment of the staff and that is something that needs to be emphasised.”
His party colleague Dep Michelle Mulherin also welcomed the news saying: “I would like to pay tribute to Mayo General management and staff who have worked very hard to achieve this in what we all know to be very straitened economic times with a reduced health budget. Implementing new bed management practices means more comfort and care for patients being treated at Mayo General with less and less people waiting on trolleys.”
She went on to say, "Bed management practices such as weekend discharges and same day procedures, together with more availability and greater use of step down facilities and beds in Ballina District Hospital and Swinford District Hospital have greatly helped ease the trolley problem.”
Dep O’Mahony also defended the Minister for Health from criticism saying: “I think too those figures are indicative of the work being put in by Minister James Reilly and his staff in attempting to put in place a better and more efficient health service. The criticism from political opponents of the Minister at the weekend was a bit rich to say the least, particularly in the light of the mess that Minister Reilly had to try and clear up when he took up the position,”
Dep Mulherin added, “I would also like to welcome the fact that waiting times under the Fair Deal Scheme where the State pays for private nursing home care up front have been reduced from six to three weeks from when a patient is approved, ensuring the elderly in need of residential nursing home care are accommodated in a more timely manner. This development is also helping the trolley situation at Mayo General. All of this means that patients in need are getting off trolleys and into acute beds sooner where they can be properly cared for. Consequently, the specialist healthcare services in Mayo General are being used more efficiently as patients who are well enough are discharged to other facilities such as step down beds at Ballina and Swinford hospitals for their recovery and recuperation, and where appropriate long-term residential care in nursing homes.”