Friday 24 November 2017

Hospital signs up €340,000 advisers to boost efficiency

Colm Kelpie and Eilish O'Regan

TALLAGHT hospital is spending €340,000 hiring management consultants to help boost efficiency -- two years after it spent €1.8m on advisers to find out how well the facility was run.

The Irish Independent has learnt that the south Dublin hospital -- the subject of a damning watchdog report into safety in its emergency department this week -- has hired DMGM Ltd on a two-year contract.

The company is tasked with providing support to the hospital's planning and performance unit, which is charged with aiding the implementation of clinical care programmes.

A spokeswoman for Tallaght Hospital said "clinical care programmes 'focus on' emergency and acute medicine".

The report by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), published on Thursday, found the hospital regularly put patients on corridors for more than five days in some cases.

Deficit

It described how severe overcrowding in its emergency department left patients at risk on trolleys and armchairs in the corridor -- a practice which should not be "tolerated in any hospital in Ireland".

DMGM -- which is based in Dublin -- is the first firm of management consultants to be contracted by the hospital since PricewaterhouseCooper (PwC) was engaged, even though the hospital was struggling with an expected deficit of €7.2m in 2010.

The HIQA report -- sparked by the death of a patient who was awaiting a bed -- revealed that Tallaght ignored normal rules of tendering when it hired PwC.

No quotes were sought from other companies.

On hiring DMGM, the hospital said it used "open and public" procurement.

The HIQA report made 76 recommendations and Tallaght hospital chief Eilish Hardiman said it had made "positive progress" in implementing them.

The Dublin hospital said it has not had patients awaiting treatment on trolleys since last September.

Irish Independent

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