An elderly woman in north Mayo that was advised to go to the Emergency Department at Sligo University Hospital yesterday due to a severe nose bleed and other medical complications, left her home at 6.30am with her son and arrived early at the hospital’s ED. However, by 3.30pm yesterday afternoon the woman, who wasn’t feeling well, was still sitting on a chair in the waiting room and had not been treated other than having been assessed by triage.

At that point, unable to get any indication as to when his mother might be seen, the man and his mother decided they had no choice but to bring her home without being treated.

The nose bleed recurred again yesterday evening at home.

Her son says the entire system is not fit for purpose. He believes it’s completely unfair to the most vulnerable, our sick and elderly and he is pleading for change…

The woman’s son spoke to Midwest News Editor Teresa O’Malley about their experience yesterday at the hospital ED…

 Saolta Hospital group have issued a statement to Midwest news.

They say Sligo University Hospital, like hospitals around the country is extremely challenged by a sustained increase in demand and a lack of available beds. The Emergency Department (ED) continues to be extremely busy with high numbers of patients attending, many of whom present with complex needs requiring admission. ED patients are waiting a long time to be admitted to a bed and we apologies to patients and their families for the upset this is causing.
Patient safety is at the forefront of everything we do and staff prioritise to ensure critical need is met. We regret that any patient has experienced long wait times. 
Every effort is being made to discharge patients who are ready to go home so that beds will become available for patients who need to be admitted, at the earliest opportunity.
SUH is appealing to members of the public to help protect our hospitals for those patients who need urgent and emergency care.  

Sligo University Hospital regrets that patients will face significant delays and asks everyone to help our staff at this time by considering other options for non-emergency care such as the Roscommon Injury Unit, Out of Hours GP and pharmacies before attending an ED.
Numerous improvements to help ease the waiting periods for patients are being implemented at SUH, these include:
•             A New Isolation Area in ED with 3 additional treatment bays which is due to open shortly
•             Reopened Discharge Lounge to assist with patient flow and free up space in the ED.
•             Appointment of Ambulance Liaison officer to improve flow of ambulances in and out started in November 2022
•             Frailty intervention team to reduce Length of stay and avoid admission where appropriate
•             Dedicated Ambulatory care area opened in 2022
•             Increased psychiatry liaison service to support appropriate patients
•             Improving post triage processes to improve patient experience times
•             Clinical Pathways in place to support reduced admission and waiting times 
•             Ongoing campaigns for recruitment of Emergency Medicine doctors and nurses
•             Appointment of additional Consultants in Emergency Medicine.
In addition, the Hospital has increased its workforce by 200 staff since 2020 to provide much needed additional resources to help deal with the growing service demands.
Progress has been made in terms of increasing the footprint of the existing Emergency Department in 2022, with 3 further isolation rooms to be opened in the coming months in ED.
Other hospitals developments include additional critical care beds for the local population. Projects which are due to progress in 2023 include a car park extension on the campus, development of 2nd CT Scanner increase diagnostic supports and a commitment to progress the 42 Bed Block extension.

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