Tuesday 19 September 2017

Hospital chief denies managers to blame for problems

Professor Colette Cowan, chief executive of the University of Limerick Hospitals Group. Photo: Liam Burke/Press 22
Professor Colette Cowan, chief executive of the University of Limerick Hospitals Group. Photo: Liam Burke/Press 22

David Raleigh

The CEO of the University of Limerick Hospital Group has vehemently denied that hospital managers are to blame for the hospital trolley crisis.

Professor Colette Cowan was reacting to a reports of a letter sent by Health Minister Simon Harris urging HSE top brass to implement existing policy of sacking managers who were failing to resolve the crisis.

She said she and her colleagues were already "performance managed" by the HSE and were given "targets that we have to meet".

"We are not ignoring the fact that we are busy. We are under an accountability and performance framework that was brought into the health service last January, which we signed up to, so we are accountable."

UHL had 60 patients on trolleys between its Emergency Department (30) and general wards (30).

Read more: ‘It’s third world conditions’ – Woman recalls ‘horrendous’ week spent at overcrowded hospital

"There are some targets that we haven't met in the last few days, with the numbers of patients in the ED; so my sense is that the minister is saying we are not meeting his targets and we should be accountable and he's right, and we do account," she said.

However, she strongly disagreed managers were to blame for the crisis. "We know how (hard) we work; we work over and above our hours to make sure patients are safe. The key thing that matters to me is that patients are looked after, and safe, and everything else I'm happy to account for."

She said the crisis was down to growth in an ageing population.

Irish Independent

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