Meanwhile, At The South Infirmary


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N writes:

My mother received this letter from the Oncology Department in Cork [South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital] during her chemotherapy session yesterday. The letter informed patients that the on-call telephone line for patients has been cut due to inadequate staffing members. The patients were advised to attend A&E if they so required. This line is imperative as chemotherapy patients are at risk of an allergic reaction to their treatment. This happened to my own mother on one occasion. By asking patients to go to A&E they are increasing the risk of contracting an infection as chemotherapy seriously damages your immune system. The letter also says that patients should be able to explain their chemotherapy to staff in A&E. If you are having a severe allergic reaction it would be nearly impossible to explain your treatment. This is a disgraceful cut to most vulnerable in society, cancer patients.

20 thoughts on “Meanwhile, At The South Infirmary

  1. George Loved Pies

    Health Professionals give advance warning to Patients shocker !

    What are we outraged at here ?

    The fact that they are planning ahead ?

    The scale of the cutbacks in the Health Service ?

    or the fact that the country seems to have forgotten that it was Fianna Fail that stuck us here and an increasing number of voters are forgiving them ?

      1. George Loved Pies

        I did read it, those risks are a product of the initial cut back, the health service are just trying to make the best out of a terrible situation.

        There are thousands upon thousands of patients affected everyday by the ever increasing cutbacks , I was just trying to show where peoples anger should actually be targeted.

        While I would agree that the HSE is an unruly management heavy beast it didnt create itself.

    1. Medium Sized C

      I don’t disagree with you, but I have literally no idea where you are going with it.

      We are supposed to be outraged at the idea that out of hours advice for chemotherapy patients is not available outside office hours.
      This is a bad thing, regardless of recent political voting patterns.

      This is happening because a lack of available funding which is a knock on from the budget deficit as well as mismanagement and inefficiency in the HSE, a hiring moratorium, qualified people leaving the country (for various reasons) and probably a load of other reasons we aren’t party to.

      Fianna Fail inaction is only part (albeit a big part) of the mess of factors contributing to all this.
      So being outraged at fianna fail because of this is reductionist at best.

  2. Rich Uncle Skeleton

    You’d almost forget the HSE employs over 100,000 people, and has a budget of €12-13 billion, and is failing to meet its budgetary target by hundreds of millions of euro. It’s nice to see the fat is being trimmed from the right places, eh?

    1. Medium Sized C

      How much should the HSE cost to run?
      Is the budget of €12 -13 bn adequate to cover activities if the fat is trimmed?

  3. YourNan

    twice the absenteeism levels of the private sector tend to produce these kinds of results sadly.

    1. Ernie Ball

      You mean the private sector where people go to work when ill (infecting their coworkers) because they aren’t paid for sick days? Yes, that sounds like a model for how to do things.

      And what a scandal it is to hear that people working in hospitals and clinics fall ill more frequently than those working in, say, the IFSC.

  4. dd

    “If you are having a severe allergic reaction it would be nearly impossible to explain your treatment”

    This is utter codswallop, just like the post on amniotomy yesterday. If you’re having a sever allergic reaction, you need emergency treatment. In an emergency department. A phone line won’t help

    Nevertheless the cut in staff is utter bollox. The absenteeism rates published recently conveniently gloss over the massive difference in absenteeism acrsoss the health sector, where, again, doctors have the lowest rates by a fupping mile.

    1. fluffybiscuits

      Absenteeism can be put down to the HSE being a complete sh*thole to work in . A work colleague told me he was depressed working there and the amount of bullying is shocking. There is a sense of elitism with nurses in one clique, doctors in another and everyone else in another. Long hours for crap pay for non medical staff does not help either…

      1. Kolmo

        +1 A nest of nonsense run by mé féin arseholes, bullying is endemic, arse-covering is primary objective and keeping things sweet especially from the top.

        Ireland does not do management. – 200 years of corrosive mismanagement culture, always from the top.

        1. munkifisht

          Ireland doesn’t do hyperbole, but if we did it would probably be the best hyperbole in the world

    2. Niamh Cooke

      I’m not denying you need emergency help if you’re having an allergic reaction. But with the phone line you can ring ahead and oncologist who knows the treatment will be on stand by rather than an intern with little or knowledge of the chemotherapy treatment. Also with the phone line you could ring and ye oncologist may tell you don’t need to go to a&e, and they can advise appropriate action. This will result in unnecessary trips to a&e for chemo patients.

      Fact is this is a service that has been cut.

  5. munkifisht

    I’m not having a go at this person or their mother at all, but this is exactly what you get when you cut funding for essential services like health. There are obvious problems with the HSE, but there has been a targeted campaign by idiot politicians headed by Reilly to blame all these issue on the HSE as a whole, vilifying doctors, nurses and other front line staff, rather than focusing on what the real issue are, mainly that the HSE has been used as a political football for far too long and has not been empowered to get it’s own house in order. Politicians have initiated many failed schemes that have floundered leaving behind nothing but a deeper and more entrenched bureaucracy and nothing is learned from failed projects like the end of the regional health boards to the failing of the integrated PPARS system (a fantastic example of poor forward planning and a misunderstanding of the ultimate needs of such a system)

    The lack of funding means that come the last few months of the budget year, you are far less likely to be prescribed some potentially life saving but expensive medicine or surgery, or, as we can see here, a lack of staff available on call when you need them.

    I think the claim of absenteeism is not true either, a nurse friend of mine has been laid off for two weeks because the clinic where she works can’t afford to keep her at the moment, not that there is not a necessity to have the front line staff there, they have also had to cut scheduled operations

  6. shitferbrains

    The Southern Vic is being run down and will be closed eventually. A & E and Breast Check have been transferred to CUH with more to follow. It became a rats nest of bullying with the creation of the HSE and being one of the last of the old Protestant ethic hospitals hasn’t helped its cause either.

  7. Columbo's Missus

    Working *with* sick people doesn’t help either. In nursing, admin and housekeeping, the staff are predominately female and sick leave for those between 20-40 is pregnancy related. Also, for staff in nursing or housekeeping, they can be taken out of work mid pregnancy.

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