Improved services for cancer patients needed

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cancer patients in new Galway ED

Galway East TD Paul Connaughton is seeking to ensure that improved systems and services for cancer patients are included in the new Emergency Department facility at UHG which is currently being planned.

In recent months Deputy Connaughton has highlighted the lengthy delays that immune suppressed cancer patients experience in the A&E in Galway when other hospitals around the country, such as St. Luke’s in Kilkenny, allow cancer patients to by-pass A&E and present directly to the oncology ward with suspected infections or problems with portacaths etc.

‘A cost-benefit analysis on a new Emergency Department for UHG is complete. I understand that the hospital is now working with HSE Estates to ensure that this new analysis can be submitted to the National Capital Steering Group in February and it is anticipated that they will get approval to proceed to design stage in 2016.

‘A new emergency department is badly needed at UHG, but new systems also have to be put in place to ensure that the new department is not a bottleneck for hospital admissions. I recently visited the new A&E in St. Luke’s Hospital in Kilkenny and was greatly impressed by what was achieved there. New facilities were only part of the solution in Kilkenny, an extremely important element of the solution was increased liaison with local GPs and increased streamlining of visitors to the hospital so that every patient did not have to wait through the A&E process and particularly not patients whose immune system is suppressed.

‘Cancer patients and their families across county Galway and beyond have been in contact with me in relation to this issue and this is a crucial time in ensuring that the particular needs of cancer patients are taken in to account in the planning of a new Emergency Department at UHG.’

‘I welcome the fact that work is continuing on the development of an additional 30 in-patient spaces on the UHG site, close to the Emergency Department. It is expected that this accommodation will be in place shortly. They will provide much-needed additional patient accommodation. Work is also continuing on the construction of a new 75 bed ward block which will provide single room in-patient accommodation and is expected to be completed in 18 months.’