Independent Deputy Michael Lowry has welcomed the completion of the latest phase of development at Nenagh General Hospital. I am pleased to acknowledge the official opening of the new Surgical Day Unit on Monday 29th June.
“It gives me great satisfaction to witness another significant chapter in the hospitals development and expansion. At a crucial time I worked closely with the HSE and the Department of Health to rescue the hospital from permanent decline. I had to take unpopular political decisions in the face of orchestrated opposition to my stance. The political opportunists said I had got it wrong and forecast the closure of the hospital. I am glad that I had the courage to pursue my conviction on what I considered was the best option to safeguard a role for the hospital and secure it’s future. My representations resulted in agreement to include Nenagh in the National Capital Programme with an investment of 6.5 million. Funds were earmarked for new lifts, new endoscopy unit, additional recovery unit, new surgical suites together with general restoration and refurbishment work. My commitment and ability to deliver on this development programme and funding package was frequently questioned, but now the results are evident with modern fully equipped facilities available to the public”.
Deputy Lowry added “Nenagh General Hospital has now established a very influential and abiding role in the delivery of endoscopy, diagnostic and surgical procedures for the people of Tipperary and the Mid-West region. Under the new HSE structures the Hospital also provides an expanded range of consultancy specialists at it’s outpatient clinic centre.
Since the re-development and restructuring of services the throughput of patients has increased by an average of 40%. Nenagh General Hospital is now a thriving, bustling successful health care centre with opportunities to further grow and expand”.
Deputy Lowry commended the management and staff of the hospital for their continued hard work and determination. Their professionalism and efficiency is an essential factor in the continued success of Nenagh General Hospital.
Michael Lowry. T.D.
Michael Lowry TD has expressed his apprehension at the botched attempts to introduce the Free under 6’s GP Scheme
Michael Lowry TD has expressed his apprehension at the botched attempts by the Minister for Health and the HSE to introduce the Free under 6’s GP Scheme
“I’m aware that at a recent meeting of South Tipperary General Practitioners 27 out of 32 GPs in attendance confirmed that they will not be taking part in the Free under 6’s GP Scheme.”
“This decision not to support the scheme is a direct result of the one sided dictatorial approach the Minister for Health and the HSE has adopted in its negotiations with GPs. It has resulted in a severe lack of meaningful discussion and consultation between all those involved. Those who attended the meeting also expressed concern with the current contract structure on offer. The contracts are viewed as demeaning, unworkable and only intended as a temporary interim measure. In general the GPs are viewing the whole scheme as a failed box-ticking exercise by the Minister for Health.”
Deputy Lowry added that, “Tipperary GPs have also raised concerns regarding the workload implications and lack of infrastructural support for the Under 6’s Free Scheme. It is clear to me that the Minister for Health and the HSE are implementing this scheme as a political policy sweetener. Many people feel that the costs involved in rolling out the new scheme will work to the disadvantage of those who are seriously ill within our medical system and who also deserve equal unrestricted access to the health system.”
“The actions of the Minister for Health and the HSE are completely at odds with the concept of equality of care to all patients. I am calling on the Minister for Health and the HSE, to review the current system as a matter of urgency and to enter in constructive dialogue with GPs and other key stakeholders to address their concerns and save the scheme from failure.”
30th April 2014
I believe that HSE mismanagement and lack of forward planning is to blame for the closure of the Local Injuries Unit in Nenagh General Hospital on Friday last. This Unit operated on drastically restricted hours on Friday last, as a result of staff shortages and was closed to the people of North Tipperary for the entire morning.
On Friday the Local Injuries Unit only opened from 1pm to 7pm, rather than the normal operating hours of 8am to 8pm. It is hugely embarrassing for the HSE that this service was so drastically reduced simply because a medic simply didn’t turn up. Such a situation should never have occurred as the HSE should have been aware of this issue in advance and taken steps to secure appropriate cover.
Nenagh Hospital is a fantastic facility that has seen massive investment and improvements in recent years. As part of my agreement with the last Government I secured a substantial investment package for Nenagh General Hospital. I fought for and insisted this funding be provided to secure the future of the Hospital. Since securing this investment package the throughput at Nenagh Hospital and those availing of its services has increased by 40%. It is now a thriving, bustling successful healthcare centre and is continuing to grow and expand. It is grossly unacceptable to have such an important unit in this state of the art facility sitting idle on any given day and I am calling on the HSE to ensure that this situation never arises again.
What happened in Nenagh on Friday last is symptomatic of what is happening right across the health service. Health services across Tipperary are grossly understaffed and in chaos at present, and it is the public that are suffering. Staff shortages are putting incredible pressure on core staff and resulting in massive delay for patients. There have been vicious cuts across the board and despite the best efforts of staff on this ground this is reflected in the quality and level of services being provided to patients in Tipperary.
Steps need to be taken immediately to resolve this situation. The HSE and the IMO need to co-operate to find a solution. Nenagh hospital and its patients should not suffer as a result of aggravation and tension between the IMO and the HSE.
14th January 2014
I welcome the confirmation that the next phase of investment in Nenagh General Hospital is now due to commence. The allocation of €2.2 million for a 16 bed medical wing to be constructed in the Hospital will be a significant boost to the hospital going forward.
As part of my agreement with the last Government I secured a substantial investment package for Nenagh General Hospital. I was primarily concerned with upgrading and improving the facilities and services available in the hospital. This package included funding for significant upgrading works, new lifts, new surgical suites, increased day beds and a top quality endoscopy suite. With the endoscopy unit up and running and the surgical suites now nearing completion I am hugely pleased that the next phase of development, in the form of the new 16 bed unit and upgrading of wards, is now moving ahead.
During the lifetime of the last Government I fought for and insisted this funding be provided to secure the future of the Hospital as many of the rooms in place are antiquated, not up to standard and lacking in modern technologies. These will now be replaced with new, modern, state of the art rooms and a revamp of wards. These room upgrades and new facilities will guarantee the future of Nenagh General Hospital as a centre of excellence for healthcare in Tipperary, as evidenced by the drastically increased patient numbers in recent years.
Since securing this investment package the throughput at Nenagh Hospital and those availing of its services has increased by 40%. It is now a thriving, bustling successful healthcare centre and is continuing to grow and expand. Once the surgical suites are operational, footfall through the hospital will again increase. This in turn is taking some pressure off the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Limerick.
The improved services in the hospital have now secured the future of the hospital based on the activity created. I would like to commend the management and staff of the hospital for their continued hard work and determination. Their professionalism and efficiency is an essential factor in the continued growth and success of our hospital.
11th September 2012
It is my belief that the North Tipperary Government Deputies have failing to protect vital services in Nenagh General Hospital. The Coronary Care Unit in Nenagh Hospital is now facing closure as a result of continued cutbacks. This essentially means that any coronary related referrals from General Practitioners will now be directed to Limerick and there will be no coronary care available in Nenagh.
Our current government deputies have failed miserably in protecting our hospital and the results are now evident today. During the period of the last Government I secured in excess of €4 million in funding for Nenagh General Hospital the progression of the surgical suites to the final stage marks the culmination of this investment, the benefits of which are now being reaped by the Hospital and the community.
For example the state of the art endoscopy suite has proven to be a major benefit to the Hospital. The construction of this two-room endoscopy suite attached to the hospital was announced by myself in 2009. This project has facilitated the development of endoscopy services on site which has enhanced the delivery of gastroenterological diagnostics at the hospital and for the region. The completion of the endoscopy suite has set Nenagh apart as an expert facility and had radically increased the throughput of patients through the hospital. This facility is one of the busiest of its kind. Additionally the new surgical suites are continuing to progress and are actually ahead of schedule.
The only area of the hospital that required care and protection is the Coronary Care Unit and this has not been done. Minister Kelly and Deputy Coonan must stand up and be counted and fight for the protection and retention of services in our local hospital.
7th June 2012
I am pleased to confirm that the signing of the contracts to allow construction work to commence on the two new, state of the art, surgical suites in Nenagh General Hospital will take place today. This move marks the culmination of the investment package that I obtained for the hospital and secures the future of Nenagh General Hospital into the future.
As part of my agreement with the last Government I secured a substantial investment package for Nenagh General Hospital worth in excess of €6.5 million. This package included funding for significant upgrading works, new lifts, new sterile services department, increased day beds and also established a top quality endoscopy suite. All of these works have now been completed and have been of significant advantage to the hospital and to the region generally. The endoscopy suite in particular has greatly enhanced the delivery of gastroenterological diagnostics at the hospital and has set Nenagh apart as an expert facility in this field.
I am pleased to now be able to confirm that the HSE will today formally sign a contractual agreement on the final stage of this investment package, two new surgical suites, with an estimated cost of over €2.5 million. Clancy Construction, a Tipperary company have been granted the tender for this project and it is estimated that the building works on site will take approximately 12 months.
During the lifetime of the last Government I fought for and insisted that these operating theatres were essential for the future of the Hospital as the suites in place are antiquated and lacking in modern technologies. During her visit to the hospital in November of 2010 to open the endoscopy suite, Mary Harney, the then Minister of Health announced that the two surgical suites could proceed to design and planning and ensured that monies would be provided for this project from within the Capital Health Programme. These preparatory works have now been finalised and tow the time when this announcement becomes a reality with work due to commence on site next week.
These new operating theatres will be an important boost for Nenagh Hospital and will guarantee its future as a centre of excellence for healthcare in Tipperary. These units will increase the throughput of the hospital and protect its status ensure as a vibrant essential service into the future.
15th May 2012
I am hugely pleased with the positive performance of Nenagh General Hospital, as lauded in the most recent Healthstat report, published earlier this week. Healthstat is a branch of the HSE that aims to provide up to date information on the performance standards of Irish hospitals. Their most recent report examines hospitals across the country, including Tipperary Hospitals.
Nenagh General Hospital was given a green light, the highest mark, for the three key areas of access, integration and resources.
These positive results secured by Nenagh General Hospital in the latest Healthstat report are a tribute to the staff and management of the hospital and serve as proof that the substantial investment package that was secured for the hospital was hugely successful and is continuing to pay dividends. During the period of the last Government I secured in excess of €4 million in funding for Nenagh General Hospital this was a key investment package that was aimed at modernising, specialising and focusing hospital resources. This investment included over €2 million for a state of the art endoscopy suite, a new sterile services department and two new lifts. All of these facilities have become fully operational with huge success. Indeed these new facilities have served to greatly increase the throughput of the hospital. In the past year alone the patient footfall through the hospital has increased by 40%. The on-going development of new surgical suites on site will continue to advance and improve services in the hospital.
The benefits of this investment package are now being reaped by the Hospital and the community. This funding was essential to upgrade the services available in Nenagh General Hospital and served to bring the hospital up to the most modern and advanced standards. By investing in the hospital its security into the future has now been cemented.
I would like to commend the management and staff of the hospital for their hard work and determination. The efficient management and operating of these new facilities is an essential factor in their success and is a tribute to their professionalism.
21st February 2012
Deputy Michael Lowry has expressed his frustration at Minister Reilly’s failure to meet his promises with regards to the Community Hospital of the Assumption, Thurles. The Independent Deputy for North Tipperary and South Offaly has also slammed the Government for slashing the bed numbers in Community Nursing Units in North Tipperary. Deputy Lowry has stated that recently published HSE Mid-West Service Plan for 2012 spells bad news, not alone for the Community Hospital of the Assumption, Thurles but also for Community Nursing Units throughout the North Tipperary area in particular the Dean Maxwell Unit in Roscrea. Deputy Lowry stated the North Tipperary area is in crisis due to repeated attacks and bed closures by the Government.
Deputy Lowry stated that
“Since this Government has come to power there have been substantial bed closures in community nursing units in both the Community Hospital of the Assumption in Thurles, St. Conlon’s home in Nenagh and now the Dean Maxwell Unit in Roscrea faces bed losses. In Thurles we have suffered the loss of 22 vital respite beds while St. Conlon’s in Nenagh was hit by the closure of 5 beds.”
“Following on from a huge backlash and very successful campaign by the people of Tipperary Minister James Reilly gave a firm promise that he would reconfigure services in the Mid-West Region and would re-open the beds in the Community Hospital at the end of January 2012. It was expected that when the Service Plan for 2012 was published that the Community Hospital promise would be enacted and that the beds would be restored as promised. However the Community Hospital is ominously absent from this Plan and in fact North Tipperary has again targeted for bed losses.”
“We are now in a situation whereby the end of February is almost upon us and the Minister’s promise has yet to become a reality. I am gravely concerned that the Minister will renege on his promise to the people of Thurles and that the Community Hospital may in fact face further cuts. The public are being placated with reports that this issue is still under review and that various reports are being done up to determine the viability of returning these beds to Thurles yet Bernard Gloster the Area Manager for the HSE Mid-west region has said that he is unaware of any such reviews.”
“The reality is that Minister Reilly gave assurances to a delegation from the Community Hospital with full knowledge of the budgetary constraints that he was facing in 2012, he is now backtracking on this promises and looking for an escape by stating that the issue must be reviewed given the finances of his department.”
“In fact instead of returning our beds as promised North Tipperary has again been hit. The Service Plan for 2012 states that the Dean Maxwell Community Nursing Unit in Roscrea will lose 7 of its beds as part of the on-going service reductions. This is an appalling decision and a further attack on this region. North Tipperary has been disproportionally hit but bed losses under Minister Reilly. Why is Tipperary North so badly hit and so disproportionally affected when other regions such as Limerick and Clare have had minimal closures? Our government Deputies are simply not doing enough to fight for and retain our hospital services. This is a government that ran under a banner of maintaining frontline services and the protection of the heathcare system yet we now see what can only be described as another broken promise and a shambolic closure of beds to the detriment of the elderly. Deputies Coonan and Kelly have assured the public that services will be retained in Tipperary and that they are working diligently on this issue. If this is the case why are losing 7 other beds and not regaining the beds that were promised to us?”
“The very real result of this is that elderly people and those that care for them on a daily basis are suffering. With the loss of the beds in Thurles, Nenagh and Roscrea we will have lost over 30 respite beds since this Government has come to power. Respite care provides a vital reprieve for those who are unwell but also provides carers with a chance to recharge their batteries and to sleep easy knowing their loved ones are in safe hands.”
“I must also express my concerns over the crises of staffing that is currently on-going in Nenagh General Hospital. The staff and management there are performing near miracles in keeping services open there despite a gross shortage in staff. They are doing a stellar job in maintaining as many services as possible in a hospital that is at crises level with regards to a shortage of staff. 17 nurses have left the Nenagh Hospital in the last number of months. Despite the valiant efforts of remaining staff they have already been forced to merge 3 units into 2. The hospital has now seeking permission for the sanctioning of ten further nurses to allow them to continue to provide their vital services. I will be petitioning Minister Reilly to ensure that these staff are allocated as a matter of urgency to allow the hospital to continue to grow.”
21st February 2012
I am pleased to announce that two new surgical suites for Nenagh General Hospital are now nearing the final stages and are due to be approved by the Department of Health in the coming weeks.
As part of my agreed overall plan with the last Government in respect of Nenagh Hospital we are now ready for the Department of Health to sign off on the two new surgical suites for the hospital. I insisted that these operating theatres were essential for the future of the Hospital as the suites in place are antiquated and lacking in modern technologies. As a result this project was included in the HSE National Plan. During her visit to the hospital in November of 2010 to open the endoscopy suite, Mary Harney, the Minister of Health at the time announced that the two surgical suites could proceed to design and planning at an estimated cost at €3.5 million.
Since then the surgical suites have been progressed to the final stage. All consultations have taken place, theatre designs have been completed and tenders for the works have been accepted. We are now awaiting Departmental approval to allow the construction works to commence. A decision to proceed to construction is expected in the coming weeks.
These new operating theatres will be a further boost for Nenagh Hospital and will again further its development as a centre of excellence for healthcare in the Mid-West. I believe that these units will again advance the case of the hospital and secure its future as it continues to grow and expand.
The large investment package for Nenagh General Hospital which I advanced in return for supporting the last Government has been of huge benefit to the Hospital. As the benefit of this investment becomes evident, the future of the Hospital is secure based on the huge success of these facilitates, in particular the state of the art endoscopy suite that was developed on site. This top class facility and the other substantial interventions and investment in Nenagh Hospital have greatly increased the throughput of the Hospital.
During the period of the last Government I secured in excess of €4 million in funding for Nenagh General Hospital. The progression of the surgical suites to the final stage marks the culmination of this investment, the benefits of which are now being reaped by the Hospital and the community.
During that Government I fought for and secured a large investment package for Nenagh General Hospital which was essential to upgrade the services available there. This investment included over €2 million for a state of the art endoscopy suite, a new sterile services department, two new lifts. All of these facilities have become fully operational with huge success.
The construction of a two-room endoscopy suite attached to the hospital was announced by myself in 2009. This project has facilitated the development of endoscopy services on site which has enhanced the delivery of gastroenterological diagnostics at the hospital and for the region. The completion of the endoscopy suite has set Nenagh apart as an expert facility.
After speaking to Management of the HSE Mid-West, I have been informed that the new services and in particular the endoscopy suite have been of huge benefit in furthering the development and growth of Nenagh Hospital. In the past year the throughput at Nenagh Hospital and those availing of its services has increased by 40%. This is as a direct result of the endoscopy suite which greatly increases patient numbers through the hospital. The success of this suite and the improved services in the hospital have now secured the future of the hospital based on the activity created. I would like to commend the management and staff of the hospital for their hard work and determination. The efficient management and operating of these new facilities is an essential factor in their success and is a tribute to their professionalism
26th November 2009
Independent Deputy Michael Lowry hailed the beginning of works at Nenagh General, in accordance with his agreement with an Taoiseach, as a major step forward for the Hospital, with work on a new endoscopy unit beginning in earnest.
Sanction and funding has also been secured for a new lift system to ensure accessibility to the proposed new surgical theatre suite.
Lowry said, “The sanctioning of funding and the beginning of works is a major step forward in securing the future of Nenagh General Hospital.
I am confident that the beginning of this work will pave the way for the hospital to enter into a new era in its capacity to deliver further procedures and services to the people of North Tipperary and the Mid West.
During the course of discussions in relation to the formation of this Government, the provision of the endoscopy unit and the new lift system were identified to me by the hospital management and HSE personnel as being absolutely essential to the future of surgical provision at Nenagh General Hospital.
I am delighted that I have been in a position to deliver on this issue and I will continue to work to ensure that the main surgical theatre project is progressed to completion.”
Work begins on the construction of a two-room endoscopy suite attached to the hospital. This project will facilitate development of endoscopy services on site which will enhance the delivery of gastroenterological diagnostics at the hospital and for the region. Clinical leadership for such a unit is already in place at Nenagh Hospital as a Consultant Gastroenterologist is on site.
This project will allow Nenagh Hospital to develop efficient services which will be compliant with any review of service delivery across the region. It represents a very positive development in increasing the ability of the hospital to become a centre of excellence for healthcare in the Mid West.