Surgeries cancelled at Nenagh Hospital
A TOTAL of 162 surgeries/procedures have been cancelled at Nenagh Hospital so far this year, Cllr Seamus Morris has been told by the HSE.
He was informed in a written reply at a meeting of the HSE West Forum on Tuesday that it was not possible to determine specifically if all the in-patient and day-case procedures have been cancelled specifically due to overcrowding.
The HSE said reductions in scheduled care at the start of the year have been a feature of the Mid Western Hospitals Group’s winter plan in order to allow for the management of surges in medical patients presenting with winter viruses and illness.
“In addition, this year’s record surge in emergency presentations was such that additional reductions in scheduled care was necessary.”
The HSE went on to state that reductions in scheduled care may be necessary at times of high demand for unscheduled care. “This is in line with the hospital escalation plan. These decisions are never taken lightly, especially in the case of patients who we know have already faced long waits for treatment. We always endeavour to reschedule patients as soon as possible.”
The HSE said the shortage of acute beds capacity was a fundamental driver of hospital overcrowding in the Midwest.
Separately, Collette Cowan, CEO of UL Hospitals Group, told Cllr Morris that the Medical Assessment Unit at Nenagh Hospital was now operating seven days a week from 8am to 8pm.
She said the group’s Injury Units have had their busiest year to date. During 2022 a total of 38,523 patients attended units in Nenagh, Ennis and Saint John’s hospitals, a 30 per cent increase on the previous year.
The increase continued into the current year, with a 7 per cent hike up to the end of April.
She said recruitment of staff was ongoing and filling posts would significantly enhance the acute medical healthcare referral alternatives available to GPs over weekends.
Recent investment in Medical Assessment Units further supported the recent introduction of the ‘999 Ambulance Protocol’ for appropriate medical patients in the MAUs at Nenagh and Ennis, she said.
Ms Cowan informed Cllr Morris that a total of 25 patients have been referred via this pathway to Nenagh Hospital up to May 1.
It came into effect in Nenagh on February 7.