Written answers

Thursday, 12 May 2022

Photo of Brendan GriffinBrendan Griffin (Kerry, Fine Gael)
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350. To ask the Minister for Health the up-to-date position regarding the consultancy process regarding University Hospital Kerry and its systems and failures; if the process is complete or nearing completion; if so, the timelines; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24047/22]

Photo of Stephen DonnellyStephen Donnelly (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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The Health Service Executive (HSE) has advised me that direct actions have been ongoing since September 2021 which aim to address the issues being experienced at University Hospital Kerry (UHK). As an immediate response to concerns raised, the South/South West Hospital Group (SSWHG) Interim Chief Operations Officer has been on site in UHK directly supporting management and clinicians in the hospital, initially on a 2 day a week commitment. This process has focused on the identification of delays within UHK patient flow streams and solutions which mitigate associated patient risks. This arrangement was put in place to ensure that the SSWHG will have the necessary assurances required regarding the on-going safe management of patients in UHK. The SSWHG Management team (within the individual managerial portfolio’s) is also providing support to the various members of the UHK Management Team on an ongoing basis.

The HSE has further advised me that the National Director for Acute Operations, Mr. Liam Woods, and members of the SSWHG Management Team met with the Executive Management Board of UHK, Clinical Directors, representatives of the Consultant Group and other key stakeholders in November 2021 in UHK to discuss the challenges facing the hospital. A Review Team has been established comprising members from Acute Operations, Special Delivery Unit (SDU), the National Integrated Care Programme for Older Persons (ICPOP) as well as representatives from the SSWHG.

This multidisciplinary Review Team are tasked with identifying the improvements required to achieve and sustain effective operations at the hospital. The Review Team have been on site in UHK and have engaged with stakeholders in the hospital to identify these measures, as well as to provide support to clinical teams at UHK. The Team are developing an Action Plan that will further support the required changes at a local level.

The HSE has advised me that the draft Action Plan is very near completion, and it is the intention of the Review Team to share the findings and recommendations with the UHK and SSWHG. The HSE and SSWHG are committed to supporting the implementation of these recommendations and are keen to move on strengthening the governance, leadership and management arrangements at the hospital.

The HSE has assured me that they will continue to keep local representatives and the public informed in relation to the provision of services at the hospital.

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