An unscheduled visit by the Health Inspection Quality Agency (Hiqa) at University Hospital Limerick has been welcomed by Cllr Seamus Morris. The visit was carried out last week and concentrated on hygiene standards at the former Mid Western Regional Hospital in Dooradoyle.
Cllr Morris, through Nenagh Town Council, North Tipperary County Council and the HSE West Forum, had been calling for such an inspection for a number of months.
“I welcome, after much pressure from me from different angles, to see Hiqa investigating this dangerous hospital, albeit a hygiene inspection,” he told the Tipperary Star.
There were 32 patients on trolleys when Hiqa visited the facility, and Cllr Morris told Nenagh Town Council this Monday that a circular went out from management to stop admissions.
“They were so cocky Hiqa would never go near them they panicked. They did everything in their power to get patients off the trolleys,” he said.
He told the Star that the hospital had gone from crisis to crisis, and the amount of people on trolleys, despite the mild weather, proved he had been been right about the reconfiguration process.
“I have held the HSE to account at all times, including forcing a meeting with them despite their efforts to avoid Nenagh Town Council. I have also recently requested the North Tipperary County Council HSE forum members make reports from their meetings to the county council, which has never happened,” he said.
Cllr Morris described the HSE as “the most unaccountable body in this State”, and said he was “dreading” the cold winter as it will put more and more pressure on patients and staff in the hospital
The Sinn Fein councillor said: “I have, and will continue to hold, the HSE and their supporters to account for their inability to provide safe health services for my constituents in North Tipperary.”
Meanwhile, Cllr Hughie McGrath, who raised the inspection at Nenagh Town Council, said he was delighted to hear it had been carried out.
“I know Cllr Morris and the council have not been happy with the stories that have been coming out of Limerick. I have heard of local people who have had an unsatisfactory experience there,” he said.
The Independent councillor, who has spent some time over the past number of months attending the hospital for an arm injury, said they shouldn’t lose sight of the the hospital’s hard working staff. “I couldn’t have been looked after better,” he said.
The Hiqa report is expected to be published in the new year.