March 28, 2024
Medical misadventure finding must be the catalyst for change at UHL – Senator Paul Gavan

Sinn Féin European Election Candidate, Senator Paul Gavan, has called on UHL to take immediate action following the verdict of death by medical misadventure recorded into the death of Martin Abbott from Shannon, Co Clare, who died in December 2019 in University Hospital Limerick.

Commenting, the Limerick Senator stated:

“I want to extend my deepest sympathy to the family of Martin Abbott on the devastating loss of a much-loved husband and father. Mr Abbott and his family deserved to have known that he would be safe in University Hospital Limerick and would receive timely, appropriate care. The events described at the inquest are nothing short of harrowing. This is every family’s worst nightmare and can never be allowed to happen again.”

The inquest heard how a patient who died at University Hospital Limerick had fallen from a trolley in the busy emergency department and may have been dead for over an hour before staff found him on the floor.

Senator Gavan continued:

“This gentleman it appears had fallen from a hospital trolley in a busy hospital ward. This tragedy occurred in 2019 and unfortunately the trolley numbers have got considerably worse since then. In 2023 there was an incredible 21,409 patients treated on trolleys and in hospital corridors. In March 2024 to date 1,834 people have been treated in this manner. These are people who have been deemed in need of a bed and yet no bed was available to them.” 

He added:

“It has been clear for many, many years now that the crisis at University Hospital Limerick is severe and is worsening. There are no more excuses for government’s inaction. I and my colleague, Maurice Quinlivan, have consistently called for the Minister for Health and this government to take urgent action to protect patients and protect staff. The steps they have taken are paltry and much, much more must be done. 

“The scheduled 96-bed unit will only deliver 48 new beds, with the other 48 replacing beds in the Nightingale ward. This new ward will only become operational in mid-2025. While the creation of additional bed spaces is welcome, they must be delivered much more quickly.

“The people of Limerick, Clare and Tipperary deserve better. They can’t wait any longer. Government must finally get to grips with this appalling crisis and ensure no more patients and families are subjected to a nightmare like this.”

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