Tallaght Hospital Sees Highest...


Tallaght Hospital Sees Highest Patients Walk Away From ED

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115,165 people left a hospital emergency department without finishing their treatment last year.

It represents over one in 13 people who attended an ED, according to freedom of information figures or 7.8 per cent.

The highest was in Tallaght University Hospital, at 20 per cent, followed by St James's Hospital, also in Dublin, at 12.9 per cent.

Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda was next, at 12.1 per cent.

Professor Bill Tormey, a consultant at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, said poor service is to blame.

“I think it’s not surprising that many of them are there for greater than 10 hours, some for over 24 hours and people will get hugely frustrated by that,” he said.

“Those people who are able to walk and are ambulatory will be able to exit in that circumstance.

“So, it’s really not surprising, given the level of service, that 7.8% of people have left.

“It does not mean that they were there for trivial reasons.”

The HSE says emergency departments are for people with serious injuries or illnesses, but many others go there when they do not need to.

It says patients are treated by priority and, because of that, some patients with less serious needs may choose to get healthcare elsewhere.

Professor Tormey believes more out-of-hours GP services would ease pressure on emergency departments.

“It seems to me that demand is so great [with] 7.8% exiting A&E last year that it makes common-sense to put a GP practice outside the main gate of any of the level four hospitals,” he said.

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