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Patient numbers 'thousands over limit'

THE management of a hospital at the centre of an investigation into quality and safety of care yesterday claimed that it has to cater for the needs of thousands more people than it was built to serve, write Shane Hickey and David Young.

The board of the Adelaide and Meath Hospital in Tallaght, Dublin, responded to the announcement of a probe by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) by saying that it serves a catchment area of 500,000 people, even though it was designed for a population of just 350,000 and that patient safety was the "highest priority".

It comes just a few days after damning criticism of the hospital by a senior member of staff.

Last week, Dr James Gray, a consultant in emergency medicine at the hospital, said the frequent overcrowding could result in people dying. He described "appallingly poor standards of sanitation".

Irish Independent