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University Hospital Galway responds to critical Emergency Dept report


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

University Hospital Galway responds to critical Emergency Dept report University Hospital Galway responds to critical Emergency Dept report

University Hospital Galway has appointed more patient flow coordinators and a patient advocacy liaison officer specifically for the Emergency Department to speed up patients getting beds on wards and getting discharged after their treatment.

The hospital is also now piloting having geriatric and medical specialities in some of the wards to reduce the number of patients over the age of 75 spending more than 24 hours on a trolley in the Emergency Department (ED).

In its response to a largely critical report from the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) about the new temporary ED, UHG manager Chris Kane revealed that the Emergency Department (ED) transit area is now used for patients over 75, giving them private cubicle spaces while they await transfer to a ward.

“To further improve patient flow and the safe transfer of patients within and from the hospital we have implemented a number of hospital admission avoidance pathways, including Pathfinder, a pre-hospital rapid response service for older people and an initiative called OPRAH – Older Persons Rehabilitation at Home.”

“We are engaging with the Community Intervention Team and the Integrated Care Programme for Older Persons (ICPOP) to improve the experience of older patients to the ED.”

Ms Kane said the hospital was working hard to address the issues highlighted. Of the four standards assessed, the hospital was found to breach two of them and partially compliant with two others.

Cleaning was highlighted as a particular risk and the hospital has moved immediately to remedy this by a quality improvement plan.

Overcrowding will continue to occur where an infrastructure deficit exists, she stated. There was an identified demand of 222 inpatient beds and additional day-case requirements.

“We deeply regret that the privacy, dignity and confidentiality of patients accommodated on trolleys and chairs is being compromised and that the ED is not functioning as effectively as it should be. In our ED we see 200 – 270 patients daily and there is an urgent need for a new Emergency Department at the hospital, this development is crucial to address current suboptimal accommodation and associated patient risk issues.”

She noted that HIQA inspectors observed staff being kind and caring towards patients who were complimentary of staff.

“We acknowledge and appreciate the dedication of our wonderful staff who were noted in the report as ‘committed and constantly striving to provide the best experience to the patients who attended the ED in what was a very challenging environment’”.

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