Galway University Hospital

  • There are currently 18 vacant hospital consultants posts at Galway University Hospitals, while across the country, new figures show almost 350 hospital consultant posts are vacant.

    The HSE figures in today's Irish Times show there are now more than 1 in 10 hospital consultants posts vacant across the health service.

     

     

  • There's a warning that overcrowded hospital emergency departments and staff shortages are putting patients at risk.

    The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation say HSE figures show there's a current shortage of over 200 nurses in Emergency Departments countrywide.

    There are 159 unfilled vacancies, while the HSE estimates an additional 57 nurses are required within emergency departments to care for admitted patients for whom there are no beds.

    The INMO says low pay and poor working conditions are making it hard to recruit and retain staff in emergency departments.

    Over this past month, there were over 7,000 admitted patients on hospital trolleys - an increase of 11% on July last year, and the most overcrowded July since records began.

    There were 457 patients on trolleys this month at Galway University Hospital - one of the four most overcrowded hospitals in the country.

    The INMO says overcrowding is now a constant feature of our hospital system - even in Summer.

  • A new report shows cases of a deadly hospital superbug are escalating, despite a major drive to reduce infections on wards.

    New figures show there were 536 patients found to have the CPE bug last year, compared to 433 in 2017.

    A report from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre shows Tallaght hospital was worst hit with 78 cases last year, followed by Galway University Hospitals where 56 patients contracted the superbug, with 31 patients affected at Sligo University Hospital.

    CPE lives harmlessly in the gut but can be dangerous if it gets into the bloodstream - more than half of  patients who develop infections with CPE die directly or indirectly as a result.

    It poses a particular risk to people with weakened immune systems and the elderly and it was declared a public health emergency in October 2017.

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    Almost 1.5 million euro was raised in car parking charges at Galway University Hospital in 2017, the hospital’s car park is operated by a private company.

    At Mayo University Hospital , car parking charges are in the hospital’s control and 340,000 was collected in the car park.

    A  private company operates the car park at Portiuncula hospital in Ballinasloe, where 167,000 euro was raised last year.

    There are no car parking charges at Roscommon University Hospital.

    While a private operator collected just short of a half a million euro in car parking charges at Sligo University Hospital in 2017.

     

  • It’s emerged that up to 15 beds are closed at a Community Nursing Home in Connemara, at a time when Galway University Hospital is bursting at the seams, with 40-50 patients on trolleys regularly.

    Independent TD for Galway West Catherine Connolly says there’s something very wrong with the system that, despite increasing numbers of patients on hospital trolleys, up to 15 beds have been closed at the Public Nursing Home in Carraroe, due to staffing shortages.

    In addition, Deputy Connolly says the Day Centre in the same nursing home is closed since the 5th March, again due to lack of staff, and the HSE has confirmed it will remain closed for at least a month.

    Deputy Connolly says the Day Centre provides a vital service for elderly people in the South Connemara area, and its closure is a major setback in the Gaeltacht region.

  • The total number of people on hospital waiting lists now stands at over 707,000, the highest number recorded.

    The latest figures issued by the National Treatment Purchase Fund are for last month, and are up by over 6,200 on the previous month.

    The hospital with the biggest outpatient waiting list is Galway University Hospital with over 39,000 people waiting for treatment - of a national total of almost 52,000.

    This means over 39,000 people referred by their GP are now waiting for treatment or an appointment with a consultant at UHG - with almost five and a half thousand of these patients waiting over a year and a half.

    There are over 8,300 people on the outpatient waiting list at Mayo University Hospital, with one in four of these patients waiting over 18 months.

    Sligo University Hospital has an outpatient waiting list of over 12,600 people, with 2848 waiting for procedures at Roscommon Hospital and 3646 at Portiuncla in Ballinasloe.

    In addition, almost ten and a half thousand people are waiting for inpatient or day surgery at University Hospital Galway, where the combined waiting lists now stand at almost 50,000.

    In a statement, Minister for Health Simon he recognises that the outpatient waiting list "remains a significant challenge" which he said the HSE and National Treatment Purchase Fund are working hard to address.

  • National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) statistics show that Galway University Hospital has the biggest inpatient, day case and outpatient waiting lists in the country, with over 50,000 people waiting.

    Galway's outpatient waiting list was almost 40,000 at the end of August and the inpatient and day case list was 10,000.

    Overall national hospital waiting lists have reached a record high, with more than 718,000 patients at the end of August.

    The figures represent an overall rise of nearly 14,000 on the July figures, despite an intensive validation process by the HSE.

    The total August waiting list figure of 718,000 excludes 12,000 patients "suspended" from the overall list for a variety of reasons, including not being clinically able for treatment at this time, or for other reasons.

    Overall, total inpatient and day case treatment lists are down.

    However, the outpatient waiting list for people to be seen by a consultant, at a clinic, for the first time for assessment is up by nearly 3,000.

    There are now nine different waiting list figures produced by the NTPF, which have to be calculated and compared with previous months.

    More than 48,000 children were on waiting lists to be treated, or seen by a doctor at the end of last month.

    Over 63,000 were waiting on an appointment with an orthopaedic consultant.

    Tens of thousands of people are also looking for appointments in relation to ophthalmology, urology, gynaecology, cardiology and neurology.

     

  • Hospitals are bracing themselves for another busy day, following record trolley numbers yesterday.

    The HSE has cancelled all non-urgent surgery at hospitals across the country today, in an attempt to reduce the trolley crisis.

    It’s after the INMO reported 714 patients on trolleys and wards nationally yesterday.

    A spokesperson for the Saolta hospital group told Midwest News this morning that while non-urgent electives are cancelled there are some urgent elective procedures proceeding at Mayo University Hospital today.

    She added that patients have been contacted directly in relation to their procedures.

     

  • It's understood about 20 women from across the country sought terminations yesterday, since abortion services became legal on 1st January.

    The MyOptions helpline, set up by the HSE as a referral path for women seeking an abortion, came into service yesterday and was said to be "busy but not overwhelmed" on its first day.

    Because of the 3-day cooling off period, it will be next week before the first terminations are carried out.

    Just 187 of the State's 3,500 GPs have signed up to provide abortion services up to 9 weeks of pregnancy.

    The list of GPs has not been published, as many fear being targeted by anti-abortion activists, but women who ring the freephone number will be given details of their nearest provider.

    There are currently nine hospitals in the State willing to provide terminations - including Mayo and Galway University Hospitals - at 9 to 12 weeks of pregnancy.

     

  • Orthopaedic waiting lists at Galway University Hospital have spiralled to over 6,000 with many people left in pain on waiting lists for hip replacement surgery for up to four years.

    That’s according to Roscommon based Fianna Fail TD Eugene Murphy who says the figures reveal that up to last month there were a total of 1,092 people on inpatient day case orthopaedic waiting lists with 193 of those waiting for eight months to a year with 88 waiting from one year to 15 months.

    On the outpatient waiting list for orthopaedics, a staggering total of 5,134 people have been left languishing on waiting lists.

    Deputy Murphy says in some cases people have been waiting for up to four years which has labelled as outrageous.

  • A surgical robot is currently being used by consultant urologists at Galway University Hosptial, and the HSE has confirmed that, so far this year, 60 men have had their prostate surgery undertaken by urologists at the hospital using this new technology.

    Robotic surgery is the most advanced form of minimally-invasive surgery available to patients, and consultant urologists say it reduces the length of time patients must spend in hospital for prostate surgery.

    It also means there's less scarring and post-operative pain, which allows patients to resume their daily activities sooner, with less need for pain-relief medication.

    The robot was installed at University Hospital Galway in June.

    A donation of €350,000 was received towards the cost of the equipment from Cancer Care West.

    Galway University Hospital treats more men for prostate cancer than any other single cancer treatment centre, and the hospital expects to treat up to 150 men using the robotic surgery in the coming year.

  • Hospital overcrowding is now out of control, according to the INMO, with a record 1,718 patients on trolleys in the first 3 days of this week.

    Galway University Hospital was the third most overcrowded between last Monday and Wednesday, with 125 people waiting for a bed over the 3 days.

    The INMO says these figures confirm that demand for emergency admissions continues to grow, with hospitals unable to provide the necessary capacity in terms of beds or staff.

    INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghda says we are now in the second week of April, and the numbers on trolleys are getting higher.

    She’s calling for the Government to recognise that the health service is in crisis, and requires immediate intervention.

    Meanwhile, Taoiseach Leo Varadker is visiting Galway University Hospital this afternoon.

    There are 26 patients on trolleys at the Galway Hospital today, with 25 at Sligo University Hospital, 13 at Mayo University Hospital and 5 on trolleys at Portiuncla Hospital in Ballinasloe.

    Across the country today, the total trolley count is 548 – an increase of almost 60% on this day last year.

     

  • There are not enough staff to operate all of the theatres at Galway University Hospital on a full time basis.

    That was confirmed to Headford based Fianna Fail Cllr Mary Hoade at this week’s HSE Regional Health Forum meeting.

    Cllr Hoade says while all theatres are open at GUH at present, they are being optimised in line with available staff.

    She says it is one thing to have theatres closed at Merlin Park but it is a concern that there aren’t enough staff to keep them in use on a full time basis at GUH.

  • Galway University Hospital is the most overcrowded in the country today, with 43 patients waiting for admission to a bed.

    Across the country, there are 510 people on hospital trolleys today, according to the INMO.

    43 of these are at UHG where two of the patients waiting for a bed are children.

    There are 23 patients on trolleys at Sligo University Hospital and 16 at Mayo University Hospital.

    Meanwhile, the INMO has denied that they are looking for a 12 per cent pay increase for nurses and midwives.

    They're calling for pay parity with other health service staff who have the same level of qualification.

    The Department of Public Expenditure says that would amount to a 12 per cent increase, and cost 300 million euro.

    It comes as the INMO are to ballot for strike action next week, unless progress on a pay increase is made.

  • 419 patients are on trolleys in hospital across the country today. 

    According to the INMO, the worst affected is University Hospital Limerick with 58 people waiting for a bed. 

    It's followed by Cork University Hospital where 44 people are on trolleys.

    The third highest hospital with patients on trolleys is University Hospital Galway with 28.

    There are 20 patients on trolleys at Sligo University Hospital, nine at Mayo University Hospital and two patients on trolleys today at Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe.

    Meanwhile, plans to start a ballot of nurses and midwives on a new contract were postponed yesterday.

    Officials at the INMO said the deal being proposed by the Government wasn’t one they could put to their members.