A Donegal councillor has called on management at Letterkenny University Hospital to explore faster ways of assessing children in the Emergency Department.
Cllr Gerry Crawford told the Regional Health Forum West about a “concerning and disturbing” time he witnessed young children waiting hours and hours for assessment.
“I had to avail of out-of-hours casualty services recently and I did observe three very young children, one maybe three years of age, waiting hours and hours in that adult environment. It’s very hard to pacify a child in that environment” Cllr Crawford told the meeting on Tuesday.
“The child was obviously sick, I personally thought it wasn’t right that they should be there.”
Cllr Crawford said he did not want to give specifics to be fair to the people involved but said “It was concerning and it was disturbing.”
Tony Canavan, CEO of the Saolta University Health Care Group said work is ongoing at LUH to improve access for the Paediatric patients attending ED. The Paediatric and Emergency Department Teams in Letterkenny University Hospital are currently reviewing the acute and urgent pathways for Paediatric patients.
Mr Canavan told Cllr Crawford: “The key concern is we have an arrangement for some children to go directly to be assessed on the ward and some are assessed in the Emergency Department and that is not necessarily in the best interest of children overall.
“We are trying to change that arrangement so that we comply with best practice in terms of assessing children in the ED before they progress onto the ward.”