Cystic fibrosis unit 'not fit for purpose'


Seanad:Seanad leader Maurice Cummins (FG) refused to continue making a reply to concerns about the adequacy of cystic fibrosis treatment facilities after John Crown (Ind) asked which public relations firm “issued this statement” on behalf of St Vincent’s hospital.

Mr Cummins said it was a Government statement. “I am giving you the notes that I have on it. I will leave it there if you are not prepared to listen to the rest of it.”

Earlier, Prof Crown said it was terribly disappointing that within four months of the opening of the long-promised cystic fibrosis unit it was already not fit for purpose. This situation had been highlighted by Orla Tinsley, a campaigner for the rights of CF patients.

He urged clarification by the Minister for Health on the matter.

In his initial response Mr Cummins said there had been an agreement that up to 34 beds would be available for CF patients in the new wing of the hospital, but this did not involve the structured use of 10 day-beds as well as the 20 single-occupancy inpatient beds in the wing.

St Vincent’s was dealing with some infection control issues, which made bed management more complex. It was seeking to ensure no CF patients were exposed to the risk of such infection.

Prof Crown made his intervention after Mr Cummins said the infection control issues required that everybody in the hospital “operates to all agreed protocols to help ensure that all facilities are used optimally at all times”.