Thursday 5 December 2019

Overcrowded children's A&E 'like third world'

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Laura Lynott

Laura Lynott

A grandmother has said Crumlin Children's Hospital is akin to the "third world" due to chronic overcrowding, vomiting children and staff "being worked to death".

Anne McCabe, from Naas, Co Kildare, said her adult daughter had spent the past six days, on and off, in Crumlin, trying to get her six-month-old daughter care, after the child kept suffering varying symptoms, including a rash, tummy ache and signs of infections.

Ms McCabe said to see her own daughter standing holding her granddaughter, while children vomited nearby and infants waited on trolleys, left her feeling "traumatised".

"My granddaughter got sick a week ago and we brought her to Crumlin Children's Hospital. What I saw there has left me completely traumatised.

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"I saw six and four-week-old babies on trolleys in corridors, children vomiting all over the place, a huge crowd in the waiting area. The staff are run off their feet," she said.

"My granddaughter went back five times this week.

"But (last night) was the last straw, they've driven to Portlaoise, where my other daughter lives, to see will the child be seen there.

"My daughter and her husband are exhausted. They've been at Crumlin each day for between 12 and 15 hours. The staff are amazing, but there aren't enough staff.

"I've never seen anything like this. It's like third-world conditions. My dog would be treated better.

"A little boy had broken his arm badly in two places, he was snow white with pain. He wasn't seen for hours."

Fine Gael TD for Dublin Bay South Kate O'Connell also highlighted conditions at the hospital last week. She told the Oireachtas Health Committee she had visited Crumlin A&E with her child on a Sunday evening and witnessed "shocking" conditions.

Ms McCabe echoed Ms O'Connell's views, saying: "It's grim when you see young parents with little babies on trolleys waiting."

A Children's Health Ireland (CHI) spokesman said: "We sincerely regret the experience this family had when attending CHI at Crumlin.

"The children's hospitals are extremely busy this past week managing increased attendances to their EDs, which are putting a strain on the areas in ED, in which we see children and babies.

"This demonstrates the need for continued investment in the new children's hospital.

"CHI at Crumlin will follow up this family directly and would wish to apologise for their experience."

Irish Independent

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