Saturday 23 February 2019

'Heartbreaking' case of dad (91) left to lie in his own faeces

Lee Greene at St Vincent’s. Photo: Damien Eagers / INM
Lee Greene at St Vincent’s. Photo: Damien Eagers / INM

The son of a 91-year-old Dublin man said he was heartbroken after discovering that his father had been lying in his own excrement on a trolley in St Vincent's Hospital.

Speaking outside the Emergency Department, Lee Greene (37), from Shankill, said his dad Henry had been waiting on a trolley for 48 hours.

"There was constant movement and noise in the corridors so he didn't get any sleep last night," he said.

"The nurses and doctors are so busy that they keep walking past him.

"He's very weak and has trouble talking so it's very frustrating knowing that he's not being given the care he needs."

When arriving at the hospital yesterday morning, Mr Greene said his father was left unattended on a trolley.

He also noticed that he had been sleeping in his own urine and excrement.

"It was really heartbreaking to see him in that state. We had to wait 25 minutes to get a private room just to put a new pair of pyjamas on him.

"If my father has an accident in the middle of the night I'll be worried that he'll have to lay in it until the next day."


Just before noon, he was given a temporary bed in a private cubicle.

"He's a little more comfortable now, but I was told if another patient needs the bed more he'll be back out in the hall," Mr Greene said.

Henry's other son, Robert, said that St Vincent's yesterday looked more like a set from M*A*S*H.

"There were hundreds of people here last night trying to get in to see their loved ones," he said.

"They were even waiting in the car park because there was no room in the waiting area. The place is absolutely manic. It's like a set from M*A*S*H."

He added that the nurse who secured a temporary bed for his father treated him with "so much respect and dignity".

"The only way things will change is if the people of Ireland stand up to the Government once and for all," he said.

The Department of Health told the Herald that tackling overcrowding in EDs is a key commitment of the Government, with a further €40m being provided in 2018.

St Vincent's Hospital did not respond at the time of going to press.

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