Sunday 15 September 2019

Elderly man spent two nights on trolley

Liam O'Reilly (85) said he would 'rather die' than go back to St Vincent's emergency unit

Liam O’Reilly with his daughter Caroline
Liam O’Reilly with his daughter Caroline

Mary Fogarty

An elderly man was told that he would have to return to the emergency department at St Vincent's in order to be admitted to St Columcille's Hospital despite on leaving Loughlinstown just days previously.

Eighty-five-year-old Liam O'Reilly, from New Brighton Terrace in Bray was rushed to St Vincent's by ambulance two weeks ago and remained in the emergency department for two nights before being admitted to St Columcille's Hospital, Loughlinstown.

Mr O'Reilly had suffered a mini-stroke and was discharged after around a week in hospital.

His daughter Caroline said they were assured before going home that, should her father's condition deteriorate, he wouldn't need to go through St Vincent's again and could come straight back to St Columcille's.

'He was unwell again last Wednesday,' said Caroline. 'They had said in Loughlinstown that if we had any problems to come straight back. They said that if we came with a GP letter of referral they would accept him.'

The family GP provided a letter and Caroline took her father to Loughlinstown, where staff told them that he must go back to St Vincent's.

'He just wasn't up to it. He was very upset. He started crying and said he couldn't face going back to St Vincent's to spend another two nights on a corridor,' said Caroline.

'He had been a patient at St Columcille's until the previous Friday,' she said.

Caroline brought her father home as he felt he couldn't face A&E at Vincent's again. She said that he told her: 'I'd rather die than sit there on a trolley.'

She said that they were worried he might have had another stroke and potentially a chest infection. 'Nobody would even listen to his chest,' she said.

'I am furious over this,' she said. 'My father is a human being who worked all his life.'

St Columcille's A&E was downgraded in November 2013 to a minor injuries unit. As a result, emergency cases are diverted to St Vincent's.

However, the hospital does have a medical assessment unit and an injuries unit.

There was controversy in 2017 when a man suffering a heart attack collapsed on the Main Street in Bray after being refused treatment at Loughlinstown.

The Bray People contacted St Columcille's Hospital for comment on Monday.

They had not responded by the time of going to press yesterday evening.

Bray People