An Independent Review Team was commissioned to carry out a review of Unscheduled (i.e. through A&E) Care Performance across nine Irish hospitals during Winter 2018/2019.

After some protest (17 months trying to block it) the HSE under the Freedom of Information Act disclosed the unpublished report to the Irish Patients Association. The HSE did not want the report published as they claim it is no longer relevant due to changes being made since which is quite surprising.

The hospitals concerned are:

Naas General Hospital, Tallaght Hospital, Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore, Mater Hospital, Cork University Hospital, University Hospital Limerick, Waterford Regional Hospital, St Vincent’s Hospital and Galway University Hospital.

The mains findings of the independent review are:

No clear understanding of who was providing the patients’ care

“Safari rounds” (essentially means walking around hospitals looking for patients scattered around the hospital)

Harm introduced through non specialist care

Hospitals not operating a 24/7 care model

Problems at weekends

Not appearing to provide safe and effective care

Hospital staff not knowing who was in charge

Critical care areas were unsafe

The report found that patients attending at Accident and Emergency (A&E) can spend more than 17 hours there before being admitted. This was noted in Galway University Hospital in particular. The review team visited Waterford Regional Hospital and found some patients were in corridors on trolleys for up to five (5) nights.

The review team concluded that these failures and shortcomings “must inevitably put patients at risk” which unfortunately translates into medical negligence and patient harm.

For further information on accident and emergency medical negligence please visit:-