Independent TD Mattie McGrath has described as extremely disturbing the revelation that South Tipperary General Hospital (STGH) has been consistently operating under the HSE’s Full Capacity Protocol since January of last year.
Deputy McGrath was speaking after a reply to a Parliamentary Question he submitted confirmed that STGH has been “unable to de-escalate as the hospital has not been able to maintain a steady state” for the last 12 months: “While no one can be ignorant of the fact that STGH has experienced a horrendous year in terms of trolley numbers, this information actually confirms the consistently chronic nature of the crisis at the facility.
“It is now a fully established fact that a full blown crisis is afflicting South Tipperary General Hospital. I am informed by the Hospital Manager Maria Barry that in the years previous to 2015 STGH had an escalation plan that did not include the Full Capacity Protocol but rather a tiered response to the activity within the Emergency Department.
“But what this shows is that neither the previous policy or the newly developed Full Capacity Protocol has come anywhere near addressing the crisis situations.
“We seem to be simply changing the titles of the Emergency Department Directives with absolutely zero change in outcomes for patients. This is clearly the case as STGH again experienced the joint highest number of people on trolleys in the State only 3 days ago.
“I am appealing to the Minister for Health Simon Harris and indeed the HSE, to spend less time cobbling together useless and ineffective protocols and to spend more time and money delivering urgently needed services like step-down beds and the opening of completely under-utilised facilities like Our Lady’s Hospital Cashel,” concluded Deputy McGrath.