August 4, 2021

‘It’s a disgrace’ – Waterford Mayor hits out after hospital chief says two patients a week dying due to overcrowding

The Mayor of Waterford has called for the “immediate” recuitment of frontline staff at University Hospital Waterford (UHW).

Labour General Election candidate John Pratt spoke out following a report that indicates up to 100 patients a year – or two a week – are dying as a result of overcrowding at our local hospital.

The report by Darren Skelton in the Waterford News & Star newspaper quotes a series of private emails sent by the Service Lead in UHW’s emergency department, Dr Brendan McCann, before Christmas in which he roundly criticises the Health Service Executive (HSE) and Health Minister Simon Harris.

In one email, Dr McCann highlighted new research carried out by two National Health Service doctors in the UK which found “1 in 83 patients waiting over 6 hours” die as a direct result of delays. In an email on December 20 last, Dr McCann wrote: “At UHW, this is about two a week or more than 100 a year. I would also point out that our waits are longer than six hours so the figure is likely to be higher.”

Responding to the report today, Cllr Pratt said it is “disgraceful to think that conditions could be as bad as this in this day and age”.

He praised the “fabulous” effors being made on a daily basis by staff at the hospital, but said they are hugely under-resourced and called for the immediate recruitment of new frontline personnel.

The mayor told “The A&E at University Hospital Waterford has been absolutely manic in recent weeks, with between 37 and 40 patients left on trolleys without a bed. We have excellent frontline staff at the hospital to be fair, but the conditions they are working in are out of order.

“It’s a disgraceful situation, particularly when you add up everything that has happened with the hospital here in Waterford: the lack of 24/7 cardio care, the horrific situation at the Mortuary Unit, the overcrowding – this should not be happening.”

Shane Doran

Shane Doran is founder and Co-Managing Editor of News Now Media, incorporating, and He is a former newspaper editor who has held senior executive roles across five national newspaper titles, both broadsheet and tabloid. He was News Editor and Executive Editor of the Irish Independent for more than seven years and spent a number of years in South Africa where he worked as editor of The Daily Voice newspaper. Shane has held senior editorial position with The Sunday Independent, The Herald and The Irish Daily Star and has served as Executive Editor (Group) of Independent News & Media (INM), Ireland’s largest newspaper group.

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