Buck passing must stop-Ennis Hospital

April 21st, 2008 - abvadmin

Buck passing must stop – Breen

Fine Gael’s Deputy Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Clare T.D. has warned today that the “Buck passing must stop” when it comes to Ennis General Hospital. Deputy Breen is demanding that adequate resources are made available to the management of Ennis General Hospital to assist them to implement the recommendations of the C-Difficile report and to improve their standing in the Health Information and Quality Authority’s independent national hygiene audit which they were rated as having “fair” hygiene in 2007. He is urging the Health Minister to put pen to paper and sign off on the funding for the redevelopment of Ennis General Hospital

“Minister Harney and her Department Officials must stop passing the buck. She must exert pressure on the HSE and the Department of Finance to sanction the Ennis Hospital development immediately.”

“The HSE Draft Capital Plan is sitting on the Ministers Desk and consultations are on-going between her Department, the HSE and the Department of Finance. It is now up to the Minister to ensure that the Taoiseach in waiting Brian Cowen T.D. signs of on this vital infrastructural requirement for Ennis before moving on.”

“Meanwhile, adequate resources must be made available to the Management at the Hospital to implement the recommendations of this report and also to assist them in their efforts to improve on their “fair” rating in the 2007 HIQA National Hygiene Audit.”

“Recent figures released to my colleague Deputy Damien English show that while hospital cleaning costs have soared by nearly 45per cent over the last three years, spending on cleaning at Ennis General Hospital increased by a mere 9 per cent in comparison.”

“If the Minister and the HSE are serious about reducing the incidents of HCAI’s in our Hospitals then they must provide the resources and the provision of these resources must be additional and not at the expense of the delivery of patients services.”

“Minister Harney gave a commitment on funding for the Hospital last September when she met the Mayors of Clare at which the Clare Oireachtas Members were present, I am tired of listening to commitments, what I want to hear at the Meeting with the Minister on the 15th May 2008 is that she has signed on the dotted line to allow the project at Ennis General hospital to proceed.”

See Parliamentary Question underneath for your info.


DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister for Health and Children (Ms. Harney (Dublin Mid-West))

by Deputy Pat Breen

for WRITTEN ANSWER on Thursday, 17th April, 2008.

* To ask the Minister for Health and Children if she will meet a delegation of the four Houses of the Oireachtas Members from County Clare to discuss the recent findings of the Health Service Executive review of the increased presence of clostridium difficile at Ennis General Hospital and the urgent requirement to implement the recommendations of the report including funding for the construction of additional storage and cleaning facilities for both medical wards at the hospital and the funding for the hospital development project; and if she will make a statement on the matter.

– Pat Breen


I consider the findings of this review into an outbreak of Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) at the Midwestern Regional Hospital, Ennis to be a serious matter and I would like to express my sympathy to any patient and/or family who has been affected by the outbreak. I would like to assure the Deputy that tackling all Health Care Associated Infections (HCAIs), including C. difficile continues to be a priority for the Government and for the Health Service Executive (HSE). Arrangements have been made to meet with Oireachtas Members from Clare on this issue.

In March 2008, I instructed the HSE to make C. difficile a notifiable disease. From May 4th, all cases of C. difficile and the associated disease, Clostridium Difficile Associated Diarrhoea (CDAD) will have to be notified to the relevant Department of Public Heath. All new cases of CDAD will be entered onto the national Computerised Infectious Disease Reporting system so that incidences can be monitored and managed appropriately where they occur.

While accepting that not all HCAIs are preventable, I am satisfied that this outbreak has been dealt with and significant steps are being taken to reduce the rates of HCAIs generally and to treat them promptly when they occur. I have been informed by the HSE that most of the recommendations in the Ennis report have already been implemented and the HSE will continue to monitor their implementation so as to ensure that the incidence of HCAIs is reduced to the absolute minimum and, particularly, that significant outbreaks such as this do not occur again.

In drawing up its Capital Plan the Health Service Executive is required to prioritise the capital infrastructure projects to be progressed within its overall capital funding allocation under the National Development Plan 2007-2013, taking account of the NDP targets for division of capital investment between the Acute and Primary, Community & Continuing Care pillars. The HSE has submitted a draft Capital Plan to my Department for consideration and approval in the normal way which sets out the HSE’s proposed short and longer term priorities and commitments. Consultation on this draft Capital Plan is ongoing between the HSE, the Department of Finance and my Department. The HSE has undertaken to provide additional clarification on its proposed capital developments and is currently engaged in this process.