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Curing Tallaght's ills

What has gone wrong at Tallaght Hospital? Yesterday's statement from the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) that it "continues to be concerned" about the quality of care at Tallaght's A&E department is evidence of serious problems at the showpiece hospital.

HIQA's intervention came as the terms of reference for an inquiry into standards at Tallaght were announced. The inquiry was established following the death of a patient last March who was "accommodated" in a "virtual ward", in reality a corridor without equipment.

Ever since opening in 1998, Tallaght has been dogged by problems, and it is difficult to resist the suspicion the petty politics of its predecessor hospitals still plague Tallaght. That's not good enough. Tallaght's A&E treats 70,000 patients a year and they are entitled to the assurance their care won't be compromised by medical bickering.