Galway A&E waiting times are the worst


EIGHT PER CENT of patients at Galway University Hospital’s emergency department wait more than 24 hours to be admitted to the hospital. According to HSE HealthStat figures, GUH is the worst performing hospital in the country.

Conditions at the emergency department have been under fire from nursing unions and figures for July (the latest available) show more than 25 per cent of patients at GUH’s emergency department wait for between 12 and 24 hours for a bed. HealthStat has GUH as the only hospital in Ireland in the red zone in its red, amber and green marking system.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation said that yesterday morning there were 35 patients on trolleys waiting to be admitted at GUH’s A&E – the second highest in the country.

Nursing unions recently took industrial action at Limerick Regional Hospital to highlight patient-safety issues there and the HealthStat results for GUH compare unfavourably to Limerick where 1.5 per cent of patients wait for longer than 24 hours to be admitted through the emergency department.

Chair of the HSE West forum, Cllr Padraig Conneely (FG), said: “GUH is not only an acute hospital, it is an acute embarrassment to myself and the HSE and it has to be an embarrassment to the Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly, and it is time for a fresh approach.”

He said GUH could be used to test Fine Gael’s FairCare Policy: “Something has to be done. The system appears broken at the hospital’s A&E. It is getting worse.”

A new management team at Galway hospitals group is due to be put in place soon. HSE West said yesterday: “GUH has been making concerted efforts on the HealthStat over the last year with management and clinical effort being put into the quality issues surrounding the measurements used in HealthStat.

“GUH is a very busy hospital serving a large catchment area and the changes required to make improvements under the specific metrics of HealthStat are part of a gradual and ongoing process.”