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Hospitals under fire as patients' gripes soar 80pc

Patient complaints to the HSE have risen by a staggering 80pc in the past two years.

Staff attitudes, infection control, lengthy waiting times and even the delivery of treatment have led to more than almost 750 complaints a month to the health authority.

Three years ago, the monthly average was just over 400 complaints. But within a year this figure jumped to an average of 665 complaints a month.

By the first 11 months of last year the numbers had jumped to a total of 8,134 complaints which averaged more than 739 a month -- an 81.3pc increase.

Complaints about delays and waiting times increased from a total of 684 in 2008 to 3,012 the following year.

Dissatisfaction with treatment and service tops the list each year, followed by complaints relating to delays or waiting times.

Waiting times at Tallaght hospital have come in for particular criticism by the HSE itself which rated the patient delays at the hospital as "unsatisfactory and requiring urgent attention" it its latest hospital review.

Beaumont hospital was criticised in the review and was also deemed to have "room for improvement" in the delays for treating all patients.

csheehy@herald.ie