Agreement on CF beds not always adhered to


An agreement last July to ringfence specialised beds for cystic fibrosis patients at St Vincent’s Hospital has not always been adhered to, the hospital and the HSE have admitted.

Representatives of both were called before the Oireachtas Health Committee yesterday after controversy over delays in admitting sick CF patients to a specialised unit which opened in the summer.

Last month up to six CF patients could not be admitted immediately due to pressure on beds.

The new Nutley wing provides 20 beds for CF patients in single rooms to minimise the risk of infection, but there are disagreements over protocols for filling a further 14 beds in the unit.

St Vincent’s chief executive, Nicholas Jermyn, said the hospital had at times been “challenged” to accommodate the demand from CF patients, and there had been situations when it could not get in all those who sought admission. When the backlog built up last month the hospital was dealing with an outbreak of the winter vomiting bug, but all patients had been admitted within 24 hours.