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Kelleher: Leaked HSE patient safety risk report ‘frightening but not surprising’

The details of the leaked report reveal fears about risks to patient safety caused by understaffing and spending cuts.

Billy Kelleher TD
Billy Kelleher TD
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

A LEAKED HSE report detailing risks to patient safety has been described as ‘frightening but not surprising’.

Fianna Fáil’s spokesperson on health, Billy Kelleher TD, made the comment about the report after details were published by the Irish Times.

Risks

A report in today’s Irish Times said that HSE managers have warned of high risks to patient safety because of understaffing and spending cuts.

It said that a corporate risk register from the HSE, which is confidential, was seen by the Irish Times and warns of risks including ‘harm to patients from inadequate services linked to understaffing’.

It also warns of a risk of disease such as measles, which is vaccine-preventable, occurring due to the failure to achieve targets for vaccine uptake.

The newspaper says that the HSE has drafted action plans for the risks identified in the document.

‘Unacceptable’

Deputy Kelleher said that the report is “unacceptable particularly when patients’ lives are being put at risk”.

He described the report as “a damning indictment of Government policy” and said he believed it “will cause huge amounts of anxiety amongst patients and their families”.

What is of particular concern is that Irish cancer care may now fail to reach basic safety standards and speedy delivery of care. This will impact on every family in Ireland. While these revelations are frightening they are not surprising, Minister Reilly needs to urgently change his priorities and focus on frontline services to patients

He called on Minister Reilly to “confirm or deny that patient safety is at high risk in our hospitals”, adding that he needs to address the concerns raised in this report immediately.

Read: IMO to discuss crisis with health officials>

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