Written answers

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Department of Health

Accident and Emergency Services Provision

Photo of Michelle MulherinMichelle Mulherin (Mayo, Fine Gael)
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86. To ask the Minister for Health the measures he it taking to address the issue of patients on trolleys at Mayo General Hospital, including the capacity problem that sees the emergency department at the hospital dealing with 36,000 patients as opposed to 20,000 patients, for which it was designed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3890/16]

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Minister, Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport; Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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I recognise that overcrowding in Emergency Departments is an issue of genuine public concern. It is regrettable when patients experience long waits in Emergency Departments and I appreciate that this can be particularly distressing for patients and their families. The Saolta Group is working with hospitals within its region, including Mayo General Hospital, on an on-going basis to manage and alleviate this situation.

Over the last number of months, a range of initiatives have been introduced to address ED overcrowding and work on these initiatives will continue to be a priority in 2016. During 2015, significant additional resources of €117m, additional hospital beds and increased staffing levels have been put in place to address the problem.

Last April, the HSE published the ED Taskforce Action Plan, with a range of time-defined actions to: (i) optimise existing hospital and community capacity; (ii) develop internal capability and process improvement and (iii) improve leadership, governance, planning and oversight.

I have been attending the ED Taskforce Implementation Group meetings to oversee the implementation of these actions.

During this peak winter period, my Department, the HSE and key members of the Implementation Group are engaging in weekly meetings to monitor ED performance and patient waiting times on trolleys.

In relation to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and my officials will follow the matter up.

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