Patient slams treatment at hospital in Mullingar
A PORTADOWN man has said the healthcare system is ‘away to the dogs’ after an experience at a hospital he was sent to in the Republic of Ireland.
The man described a private hospital in Mullingar, Co Westmeath as “something from the 1970s”.
He said had been sent to St Francis Health Village, a private hospital, by the Southern Trust for a minor procedure on his leg.
The man, who didn’t want to be identified, described his astonishment that after an almost three-hour minibus journey to west Meath, he was led into a building he felt was “very run down”.
“I thought it was in bad repair,” said the man, who is in his 30s.
However, Mark Gordon, owner of St Francis’ Health Village, strongly refuted the patient’s allegations, adding that they are totally at odds with the positive feedback, particularly from patients travelling from Northern Ireland.
The patient told the Times how he had been taken to a ward at around 10.30am on a date in February and soon after saw a surgeon.
“We were shown into this wee hospital ward with four beds in it. It looked as if it was something from the 70s. The radiator on the wall had wire grills over it held together with cable ties.
“I thought the floor was quite dirty. There were a couple of tiles missing that had been changed with blue tiles when the floor was supposed to be a creamy colour. There were two sinks on the wall and the mirrors were all covered in scum.”
He said there was no privacy and ‘couldn’t believe’ that a consultant started to speak to a man from Northern Ireland about a very personal procedure in front of everyone in the ward with no curtains pulled.
The patient complained that he wasn’t seen again until 2pm. He said, while he was fasting, no one offered his partner who was with him anything to eat or drink during the entire time he was there.
Eventually the man had had enough and ripped off his plastic wristband and told staff he had decided to go home.
“It definitely isn’t the five star hospital or anything close to it,” he claimed.
The man added, “I went the whole way down there to get this done and the only thing I came back with was a shaved leg with marker drawn all over it. I can assure you, Edwin Poots hasn’t had to go down or anybody belonging to him had to travel down there in a minibus.”
Mr Gordon said more than £4m had been spent on the hospital in the last two years on equipment, theatres and wards.
“These allegations stand alone. 99 per cent of our patients and specifically those who have come over the past six weeks from Northern Ireland have written about the high quality of health care. We have been highly complimented.
“These series of comments are in isolation and I totally refute them,” said Mr Gordon.
A spokesperson for the Southern Trust said, “Where the trust does not have sufficient capacity within our own hospitals to meet the needs of our population for a particular specialty, the trust is directed by the Regional Health and Social Care Board to refer patients for treatment to independent providers.
“All independent sector providers used by the trust are drawn from the Regional Health and Social Care Board’s list of eligible providers of acute care.
“We want to ensure that all of our patients receive safe, high quality care, whether this is within our own facilities or through independent providers. We are closely monitoring the care received by these patients and welcome all feedback on their experiences with providers outside of the trust.
“We take all complaints regarding the care and treatment of our patients very seriously and are liaising directly with this gentleman to fully investigate his concerns which we will be sharing with the Health and Social Care Board.”
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Weather for Portadown
Thursday 23 May 2013
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