Backlog largely cleared at cystic fibrosis centre
A backlog of cystic fibrosis patients awaiting admission to the State’s most advanced unit for the disease has been largely cleared after the Cystic Fibrosis Association complained of “unacceptable” delays. The association wrote to St Vincent’s hospital and the HSE yesterday saying the lives of CF patients were being jeopardised after a week which saw up to seven patients waiting for a room.
“When there are no in-patient rooms available, hospital staff have little choice but to refer patients to emergency. This means long waits with no guarantee of a room and the potential exposure to infection from other patients also waiting in the emergency department,” it said.
By last night, according to the hospital, the numbers waiting had dropped to one and 28 CF patients were being accommodated in the specialist unit in the hospital. St Vincent’s said it was happy to agree to a review demanded by the association of an agreement reached last July which promised 34 beds for CF patients.
However, it disputed claims that a general ward in the hospital was lying idle or that there was space for non-CF patients in the old private hospital. Facilities throughout the hospital were being used to their full potential, a spokesman said.
The hospital would continue to prioritise CF patients for admission based on their clinical need and would ensure that critically ill patients were admitted in a timely manner.
“Due to infection control reasons, admission of certain categories of CF patients has to be very carefully managed”, the spokesman said.