Patients and staff facing ‘a brutal winter’

28 per cent of all patients had to wait over 24 hours to be admitted from A+E

The winter plan set up to try to cope with patient demand at University Hospital Kerry is little more than a smokescreen as the real work should have been done over a multi-year period, a Kerry TD has insisted.

Deputy Pa Daly has condemned the government’s failure on emergency department waiting times at the hospital and he said the waiting times are simply not good enough.

He said in July, August and September of this year, University Hospital Kerry was far above the state average 12 -our wait time and the most alarming statistic was probably the figure for those over 75 in July, where there was a nearly 22-our waiting time.

Deputy Pa Daly

Matters improved somewhat in August and September but for all patients there was a wait time of at least 15 hours and for that same period, 28 per cent of all patients had to wait over 24 hours to be admitted.

“Performance once patients were admitted was poor also, with wait times exceeding three days for both under and over 75 year olds for all three months of the quarter,” Deputy Daly said.

He maintained that step-down facilities and primary care centers are the key, with many patients able to receive care in such places. A capital investment programme is needed in this area, along with proper workforce planning and measures to retain staff.

“A lack of GPs, GP out-of-hours care and late pharmacies is worsening our A+E crisis. Care can and should be delivered in as many ways as possible to alleviate the burden on hospitals,” the Kerry politician said.

“Stated simply, these wait times are not good enough and stem from the repeated failures of government to plan adequately. We are facing a brutal winter for many and staff and patients deserve so much better,” he added.

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