As the University Hospital Limerick continue to suffer severe overcrowding despite opening it’s new Emergency Department, Social Democrats Galway representative Niall Ó Tuathail claims Galway needs to invest in community care teams if it is to solve the pressure on Galway hospital.
Mr Ó Tuathail, who works as an advisor to the NHS on health reform, said: “While a new Emergency Department in Galway is needed and will help improve terrible conditions for patients and staff, it’s not a silver bullet for overcrowding and I am disappointed in politicians who pretend it is one, including Minister Harris who wrote to UHL management in frustration. The only real solution to overcrowding is a combination of reducing the number of people going to A&E, increasing staffing and beds to treat more patients and getting people home quickly and safely when they don’t need to be in hospital.”
The Social Democrats candidate for Galway recommends that the HSE launch targeted community care teams for our elderly residents, people with complex long-term conditions, and people with severe mental health issues. He suggests that “the international evidence shows that giving preventative and quick response services to these groups of people can improve their health, keep their independence and dignity and avoid them going into hospital. If they do have to go into hospital, the community team plans from day one for what services are needed when they can leave. This helps them to leave hospital more quickly, avoiding them losing independence and picking up hospital infections. Not only does this save money and take pressure off the hospital far more cheaply than building new beds, this will stop people from dying unnecessarily young.”