HIQA issue critical report on South Tipperary General Hospital

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The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has issued a very critical report on South Tipperary General Hospital, citing the problems faced by patients and staff due to persistent overcrowding.

The inspectors carried out an unannounced inspection of the hospital on March 2nd and observed five people ‘accommodated inappropriately on trolleys in a non-clinical reception’ area which also served as a thoroughfare for patients, visitors, and staff.

These patients, the inspectors noted, did not have adequate access to oxygen ports, monitoring equipment or other standard facilities that would be found in a clinical area.
HIQA found that the absence of these facilities presented an ‘immediate high risk’ to the health and welfare of the patients.

HIQA also criticised the use of a reception area for this purpose and found it so concerning that it took the decision to immediately cease the inspection until the hospital addressed these patient safety concerns as a priority.

HIQA noted that the manner in which the hospital managed the protocol for dealing with overcrowding lacked urgency and was not given priority over other demands.
The hospital addressed the issue immediately and freed up a number of ward beds to facilitate those on corridors.

During a follow-up inspection on 16 March, HIQA inspectors found a number of risks relating to infection prevention and hygiene.

It was subsequently acknowledged that the hospital had been experiencing high occupancy rates since January but that management there should review how they monitor ways of limiting the risk of infection.