Hospitals

  • A special investigation of data protection practices at 20 hospitals across the State has identified a catalogue of concerns - including sensitive patient records being left exposed in wards, and a lack of privacy when staff are speaking to patients.

    The investigation was carried out by the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner at hospitals across the country – including University Hospital Galway and Sligo University Hospital.

    It found evidence that computer terminals were being left unattended for long periods, leaving patient data visible, and that sensitive records were not being disposed of securely.

    Hospitals are being urged to use this report as a tool to enable them to spot the significant data processing security risks that may feature at their facilities on a daily basis.

    The investigation was carried out last year and examined practices in 20 HSE facilities, voluntary hospitals and private facilities – although the report does not outline specific issues at individual hospitals.

    The report sets out 76 recommendations aimed at mitigating the risks identified.

  • 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.

  • Hospital car parking charges could be capped at ten euro a day.

    The move is being considered by the Health Minister Simon Harris.

    Under the plans, discounted multi-day passes would also have to be introduced for relatives, guardians and friends who frequently visit patients in long term care.

    The Sunday Independent reports the abolition of car parking fees has been ruled out though.

  • Hospital consultants have warned that public hospitals are in a state of crisis.

    The IHCA has welcomed an interview from former HSE director general Tony O'Brien in the Sunday Business Post this morning.

    In it, he warns that the difficulty recruiting and retaining consultants is preventing the provision of care to patients.

    Tony O'Brien also says in the interview that it's "entirely possible" the number of people on trolleys this winter will hit one thousand.

    And he believes that without "significant moves", there's no doubt that there will be an "existential crisis" in hospital capacity.

  • 623 people are on trolleys in hospitals across the country today. 

    That includes 32 patients at Sligo University Hospital, 29 at University Hospital Galway, 4 at Mayo University Hospital and 4 at Portiuncla Hospital in Ballinasloe.

    According to the INMO, the worst affected is Cork University Hospital with 58 people waiting on beds. 

    It's followed by University Hospital Limerick where 55 patients are on trolleys.

  • The trolley crisis in hospital emergency departments is not over, with 500 patients on trolleys today – that’s according to the General Secretary of the INMO Phil Ní Sheaghda.

    With trolley figures on the rise after the Bank Holiday weekend, she says hospitals are still in crisis and she’s calling on the HSE to continue curtailing services to allow hospitals deal with the high numbers on trolleys.

    University Hospital Galway has the third highest number of patients on trolleys today at 41, with 16 on trolleys at Mayo University Hospital, 14 at Sligo hospital and 5 at Portiuncla in Ballinasloe.