‘It was like a battlefield’



Lecarrow woman on “shocking” conditions in Portiuncula A&E


Earlier this week a Lecarrow resident shared her horrifying experience of a recent visit to Portiuncula Hospital A&E. Originally from Dublin, Jenny Darcy is in her early 60s and has been living in Lecarrow for the last number of years. She suffers from Crohn’s disease, and while this has resulted in many hospital visits over the years, she is adamant that none were as bad as last weekend’s episode.

  Speaking to the Roscommon People on Tuesday, Mrs. Darcy said that while staff at the hospital were excellent during her two-day stay, they were under a huge amount of pressure and working in dreadful conditions in the overcrowded department.

  “I wanted to highlight the plight of our A&E departments across the country and to put to the public the outrageous and stressful conditions our dedicated health care workers have to endure day in, day out.

  “I saw it first-hand after being admitted to Portiuncula in the early hours of last Saturday morning.

  “While I felt that I had the strength and ability to cope with the conditions in the hospital, my sympathies were with the elderly and seriously ill people who were there on Saturday morning and who suffered as a result of the overcrowding. There were people at a very vulnerable stage of their lives, some with life-threatening conditions. The loss of dignity was simply shocking as they were treated on trolleys in a hospital corridor”.

  Mrs. Darcy was transported to Ballinasloe by ambulance at 4 am on Saturday morning and while she praised the “excellence and professionalism” of those involved in her care, she said the scene upon arrival at Portiuncula was “like a battlefield”.

  “I’m not the kind of person to share these things but I was just broken-hearted for the staff. Their professionalism in such circumstances was unbelievable. The staff believe the public are largely unaware of how bad the situation really is and you don’t realise just how dire it is until you experience it for yourself”.

  Mrs. Darcy’s daughter also described the “heartbreak” of having to leave her mother on a trolley in a corridor as patients continued to arrive throughout the morning and the shortage of beds became apparent.

  Mrs. Darcy called on the Minister for Health Simon Harris to visit the hospital in order to see for himself the current state of the health system.

  “Our health system is in chaos, shame on the Government. How much worse can it get before something is done?

  “I would invite Simon Harris to visit Ballinasloe to see for himself the conditions our health care workers and the most vulnerable in our society must cope with. How would he feel if a loved one was subjected to such conditions?

  “I would ask anybody with similar experiences to share them and not just accept such conditions as a sign of the times. Most other countries would be out on the streets in protest,” she concluded.