herald

Friday 24 January 2020

Crumlin received 300 complaints in 8 months over safety and delays

Health Minister Simon Harris
Health Minister Simon Harris

More than 300 complaints about safe care and treatment delays were levelled against Crumlin Hospital for children in the first eight months of this year, it emerged yesterday.

The highest level of concern was about safe and effective care, which led to 191 complaints.

Another 116 grievances were lodged regarding access at the hospital, which has long outpatient waiting lists.

It had to cancel chemotherapy sessions for nearly two weeks for some children in recent months, due to bed shortages.

Waiting list figures for November showed 4,507 children are waiting for surgery across the three children's hospitals, including Crumlin.

Another 44,175 patients are waiting to see a specialist across the three hospitals, with 9,839 forced to wait in the queue for more than 18 months.

There were 145 complaints about communication and information in Crumlin Hospital from January to August, the figures released to Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy show.

The high cost of car parking was also included in the complaints, with parents faced with a daily rate of €10 if they are attending with their children for more than five hours.

The beds shortage for three main children's hospitals in Dublin continued yesterday, with 14 children recorded as being on trolleys.

Feedback

Responding to the high level of complaints, a spokeswoman for Crumlin Hospital said the number of attendances at the hospital from January to August was in the region of 80,000.

Of these, 191 complaints were recorded "under safe and effective care, which includes a range of issues from waiting times, delays in accessing treatment and treatment cancellations, among others".

She said the hospital "welcomes complaints, feedback and suggestions which is used to inform learning and improve services across the hospital".

"When a parent of child makes a complaint, it is seen as very important and valuable feedback," she added.

"In addressing the number of complaints under the 'access' category, which includes issues such as car parking, the patient advocacy department held an effective communications and management complaints education programme for all staff."

She said this included front-line staff and was aimed at improving communication and addressing complaints at a local level.

The hospital focuses on implementing the recommendations and making meaningful service improvements which are overseen by the management team, she added.

Health Minister Simon Harris has promised extra beds for the hospital this winter.

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