NEARLY 700 patients had to wait for a hospital bed after being admitted to UHG in March.


Increase in attendance at Galway’s ED while big drop in number of patients treated at Galway hospital’s assessment unit

ATTENDANCES at Galway’s Emergency Departments have risen significantly since the pandemic while numbers presenting to Medical Assessment Units (MAU) have reduced.

MAUs provide diagnosis and treatment for patients referred with a wide variety of medical conditions, including chest infections, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), pneumonia, urinary tract infections, fainting episodes, clots in the leg, and anaemia. Patients are reviewed by a senior clinician and may require x-rays, blood tests, scans or further diagnostic imaging.

From 2020 to 2023 just over 68,000 patients attended the MAU at Galway University Hospital compared to 281,140 patients presenting to the Emergency Department over the same period.

The HSE West said that during the COVID 19 pandemic all hospitals in the Saolta group (hospitals in the West and North-West) lost their MAU or AMU (Acute Medical Unit) as new patient pathways were required for infection control purposes.

Chief Operations Officer of the group Ann Cosgrove informed a recent meeting of the Regional Health Forum West that while all the hospitals are taking steps to reopen their AMUs they continue to be impacted at times by surge capacity requirements…

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