Tallaght Hospital trolley practice poses risk

Friday 26 August 2011 21.49
HIQA carried out a surprise inspection at Tallaght Hospital on Wednesday
HIQA carried out a surprise inspection at Tallaght Hospital on Wednesday

Tallaght Hospital has been told it must stop placing patients, who are due to be admitted, on trolleys in corridors near the Emergency Department from 1 September, as it poses an unacceptable and serious risk to patients.

The directive has been issued by the Health Information and Quality Authority following an unannounced inspection of the hospital's Emergency Department this week, as part of a statutory inquiry into safety there.

HIQA carried out the inspection on Wednesday and found a number of issues which it says 'may have the potential to pose serious risks to the health and welfare of persons receiving care there’.

There were 20 patients in corridors, or in the Emergency Department, waiting for admission to a bed with five patients waiting more than 24 hours since the decision to admit them.

The inspection also found that one patient, with tuberculosis, was placed for over 72 hours in a clinical room which was not an isolation room and which opened directly onto a corridor where other patients were being cared for.

HIQA says this posed a potential serious risk of cross infection to patients.

There was also a cardiac patient, who at the time of the inspection, had not been assessed or admitted by any in-house clinical team.

HIQA has told the hospital that after next Thursday it must cease placing patients, who are due to be admitted, on trolleys in corridors near the Emergency Department.