Leitrim patient who suffered ‘last minute surgery-cancellation’ says more people need to speak out

A Leitrim man says more people have to complain and speak out about the crisis in Irish hospitals.

Dave Price went in to Sligo University Hospital last Wednesday for a hernia operation which was cancelled at the last minute due to a lack of beds.

Reports over the past number of months have consistently shown high numbers of patients waiting on trolleys in Letterkenny and Sligo Hospitals.

And the experience of Dave Price from Keshcarrigan in county Leitrim last Wednesday shows the impact of what having 32 people waiting on trolleys at the hospital is having.

His long-awaited surgery for a hernia was planned for the 1st of March and having arrived into hospital and prepped for the surgery it was cancelled.

Mr. Price described to Ocean FM News today what happened as he was on a trolley ready to be taken to theatre:

Mr. Price first raised the issue on the Joe Finnegan Show on Shannonside radio yesterday and is keen to tell his story so the Health Minister and the HSE sit up and take notice and allocate more resources to hospitals like Sligo.

But he says patients too have a part to play in speaking out and complaining when necessary about unacceptable situations.

Mr. Price told Ocean FM today that he felt let down by the whole system and that he’s just one of many patients affected by cancelled surgeries.

But he says not enough people complain and that was clear from the reaction of staff at the hospital last week who he said are near breaking point with the numbers of patients they are dealing with:

Mr. Price had to be sent home in a taxi at a cost of €90 to the HSE and his surgery is rescheduled for this week.

He has made contact with Sligo Leitrim Fianna Fail TD Eamon Scanlon who has committed to raising this issue with the Health Minister.

In a statement, the HSE has confirmed that Sligo University Hospital had to defer four routine elective surgeries last week as there were 32 acutely unwell patients on trolleys who were waiting for admission.

Saolta says the situation was regrettable but “as there would have been no beds for these four elective patients post-surgery, we unfortunately had to defer their surgery.   

Every effort is made to re-schedule deferred surgery as early as possible. 

Sligo University Hospital would like to apologise to patients and their families for any distress caused.

Meanwhile today’s TrolleyWatch figures from the INMO show Letterkenny is the most overcrowded hospital in the country with 33 people waiting for a bed while there are 17 people waiting in Sligo – an increase from yesterday.

The figures come on the day when there was to be a work to rule by nurses, however, the action has been called off as new proposals have been put forward.

The issue was also raised at a meeting of Leitrim County Council yesterday where Sinn Fein Councillor Padraig Fallon called for the Local Authority to write to the Health Minister outlining their support for nurses and the work they do.