HSE slammed as being 'dysfunctional'

St Patrick's Hospital

Liam Scollan from Friends of St Patrick’s Hospital has slammed the HSE, describing them as being “dysfunctional” after they evaded and failed to answer questions about the community hospital in the county town.

Fine Gael Carrick Councillor Finola Armstrong-McGuire asked two questions relating to St Patrick’s at last week’s HSE Regional Forum meeting. She didn’t receive any new information and felt they “evaded” her questions about the reinstatement of nurse led care and access to the patient’s assessments.

Cllr Armstrong-McGuire said she hopes the efforts of the local community have not been lost in trying to bring back nurse-led care to the hospital.

The HSE told Cllr Armstrong-McGuire that as well as extra clinics in the Day Hospital “a nurse is also available on a needs basis to assist with any assessments required by those who attend.”

When she asked about GPs and carers accessing the HSE assessment of patients which led to restructuring of the service, she was told staff at the hospital will engage with any concerns.

The councillor said there is “miscommunication” and she put forward that some of the assessments are “not in written format.”

Liam Scollan said the community group will now arrange a meeting with the four new TDs for Sligo-Leitrim to discuss how they can keep their promises about St Patrick’s Hospital Day Care.

Mr Scollan stated the HSE are showing a “basic lack of respect” for the elderly people of Leitrim.

“We will continue to fight,” he asserted, “we are adamant we are not going to back down.”

He accused the HSE of being “dysfunctional in Leitrim” as they have “failed to answer questions and are evading questions.”

He noted “something is broken” in the HSE.

He argued that the prospect of a new hospital in 2021 for Carrick-on-Shannon, while welcome, is “no comfort to patients and carers needing services now.”

He said the families and GPs of patients cannot access the HSE assessments used to cut the nurse-led care.

He said some patients are turning away from the facility as it is “depleted.” He feared the less people who attend will provide the HSE with a “lack of demand” approach.

Cllr Caillian Ellis who also attended the Health Forum queried the delay in the opening of Ballinamore Community Hospital.

The HSE outlined they “are actively recruiting staff for a variety of different grades which were advertised in all local papers to facilitate interest from locally qualified people. This process is currently being finalised and the unit is expected to open in April 2016.”