Last Thursday’s ‘Prime Time’ report has underlined the need to ditch the Herity (cardiac services) Report and implement 24/7 cardiac care at UHW, according to the South East Patient Advocacy Group (SEPAG). Katy Hannon’s report revealed that there were 203 confirmed STEMI’s (serious heart attacks) in the South East last year.
It also confirmed that between the middle of 2015 and mid 2018, just two patients made it to CUH from UHW inside the 90 minutes identified by Dr Niall Herity.
Meanwhile, just one patient made it from St Luke’s in Kilkenny to Dublin within 90 minutes by ambulance while, underlining the regional significance of this issue, no patient being transferred from Wexford to Dublin within an hour and a half.
In addition, the report revealed that the average transfer times from Kilkenny to Dublin is “nowhere near the 88 minutes claimed in the Herity Report”, said SEPAG, “and in fact it is two hours 25 minutes, from UHW to CUH comes in at two hours 26 minutes, while the journey from Wexford to Dublin came to two and a half hours.
Said SEPAG Chairperson Hilary O’Neill: “These times are absolutely scandalous. A 24/7 service has to be implemented immediately. There is no need to build another cath lab either and drag the process out by another 12 to 18 months.” She added: “The second cath lab at UHW is being used as an orthodontic clinic which is a community based service. There is a new Primary Care Service in the grounds of Saint Otteran’s Hospital which we believe has the capacity to facilitate this orthodontic clinic and it could be re-located there in a matter of weeks if the political will was there to do it.”
SEPAG’s Yvonne Cooney added: “The modular lab at UHW could be equipped and used in the interim to support a 24/7 service until such time as the second cath lab can be made available, equipped and staffed which must be done now soon as possible.
SEPAG called on the Government “to agree to put the funding in place to implement a 24/7 service at UHW as soon as possible to ensure no other person dies on that road to Cork”. However, this demand is unlikely to be met since the Government is not due to receive the National Review of Specialist Cardiac Services until June of next year.