Monday 13th February 2017

245 GP's call for 24/7 cardiac care to be implemented in the South East

245 GP's call for 24/7 cardiac care to be implemented in the South East
GPs in Waterford,Wexford and South Tipperary have called for 24/7 cardiac care to be implemented in the South East region to address patient care and safety issues.

They've written a letter giving their backing to calls for 2nd Cardiac Cath Lab on the basis of patient care and clinical need.

The Letter is as follows:

Re Cardiology Services in UHW

Feb 2017

Dear Sir/Madam

We are writing on behalf of a large group of GPs based in the South East of Ireland, covering counties Waterford, Wexford and South Tipperary to express our major concern regarding the ongoing issue of provision of Cardiology services at University HospitalWaterford (UHW).

The lack of progress in obtaining a second cardiac catheterisation laboratory is particularly worrying as it unnecessarily endangers patient health. Lack of access to a 24 hour service in our region relegatesvery vulnerable patients to a 2nd grade service when more immediate treatment would certainly improve outcomes and save lives.

We understand that over 700 patients have been transferred off the waiting list in UHW and have been transferred to services in Cork.This move, which appears to be more politically than medically motivated has altered waiting list figures and has provided decision makerswith an excuse not to upgrade South Eastern cardiac services. This situation is unacceptable to us and to our patients. We understandthat up to 30% of patients have refused to travel to alternative centres. Many of these patients are marginalised and without the social support that would enable travel.

We also are led to believe that patients are travelling to Cork to have diagnostic angiograms performed and that when disease is identified patients may be referred back to UHW for definitive treatment. A more logical and indeed safer option would be to provide such treatment at the time of angiography as currently happens in all other centres.

The population is ageing throughoutthe country and the South Eastregion in particular has a significant cohort of elderly people with increasing health care requirements. We strongly believe that the failure to provideenhanced cardiac services is short sighted and very much to the detriment of patients in the South East. Patients who present to us in distress with a cardiac issue are extremely concerned about thelocation and viability of cardiac services in the region.

We wish to support our Cardiology colleagues who try to provide an excellent service in extremely trying circumstances. We realise it will be increasingly difficult for them to continue to provide an appropriate service without improved facilities. Staff recruitment and retention will be at risk if expansion of facilities does not occur.

We hope that the much needed second cardiac catheterisation laboratory be sanctioned for UHW as soon as possible to allow appropriate 24 hour cardiac care become a reality for all patients in this region.

Yours sincerely

Dr Dermot Nolan MICGP
Chair of Waterford ICGP faculty

Dr John Cox MICGP
Chair of Wexford ICGP faculty

Dr John Farrell MICGP
Chair South Tipperary ICGP faculty