St Mary's Hospital, Phoenix Park... Pretty shocked at the state of it...

slx

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 13, 2008
Messages
883
A relative of mine was recently transferred from the Mater Hospital to St Mary's as a "complicated discharge". She's suffering from cancer and recovering from pretty serious surgery which has left her in need of rehab.

She's a very active, 100% with-it lady and she was getting on fine in the mater in a mixed, friendly cancer ward.

I called over to her at St Mary's and I am absolutely horrified at the state of the place. It's literally falling apart and it's filthy in many areas. You walk in via what is laughingly called a reception area. It had a broken door, no staff member or security, ugly brown carpet and dark paint/flaking off the walls. It looks like some kind of horrible old industrial school or something.

There was even a light fitting with literally hundreds of dead flies (possibly bluebottles) inside it.

In her ward the beds are so close that the nurses can't even walk between them!!

My relative is at risk of infection because of her treatment reducing her immune response slightly, so this seems a little crazy.

It's also not very dignified or comfortable to be *that* close to the next patient.

It's an absolutely depressing environment and I'm horrified that such places still exist and that the HSE can standover having staff and patients in such an absolute kip.

The ward she is in has been renovated a bit, i.e. it looks re-painted and a little brighter. However, it is still grossly over-packed with patients.

The staff seem friendly, but the facility is just disgraceful and depressing. It must be hugely demoralising for staff and and even more so for patients.

My relative desperately wants to get out of this place and get home a.s.a.p.

In fact, I think she would get back to some level of health and well being by going home a.s.a.p. even though she has pretty serious cancer.

I'm just wondering had anyone else has had any dealings with this place or if our experience of I is representative of the entire facility?

Overseas relatives called in and actually wondered how such facilities could possibly exist in a 1st world country. It's THAT bad!

It makes my blood boil when I look at a vanity project just a short distance away, Farmleigh. The state spent €29.2 million in 1999 purchasing it from its original owners and another €23 million refurbishing it. Meanwhile, some of the most vulnerable people in the area are left in a decaying 19th century heap down the road.

You'd really have to wonder!

€52.2 million would have done quite a lot for it!

You can measure a civilisation's development by how it treats its most vulnerable. Not by how fancy its Governmental follies are.
 


greengoose2

Well-known member
Joined
May 30, 2009
Messages
24,897
I visited a relative in that place 7 years ago and even then it was due a lick of paint. The staff, as in most hospitals and homes, were wonderful and it's a great credit to them that they have to work in such dirty conditions!

Maybe a proposed visit from our minister would get the background cleaned up for the photoshoot!
 

danger here

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 9, 2010
Messages
2,549
christ on a bike that sounds bad
 

slx

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 13, 2008
Messages
883
I think medical staff and other hospital staff need to put much serious political pressure on to get stuff like this cleaned up though.

Nobody should be expected to treat patients in those kinds of conditions.

More importantly, patients shouldn't have to put up with this kind of thing.

Staff & patients have a common interest in getting this kind of thing sorted out and brought into the 21st century.

In the case of St Mary's it's just in dire need of a good scrub, tidy, paint, reorganisation and a serious cheering-up. It's not crying out for expensive equipment or anything like that, just basic maintenance and housekeeping.

Rather, it's more like it's forgotten about and lost in the park.
 

danger here

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 9, 2010
Messages
2,549
it sounds like Moldova or Azerbaijan,although they prob have more investments in hosps there!
 

slx

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 13, 2008
Messages
883
it sounds like Moldova or Azerbaijan,although they prob have more investments in hosps there!
Yeah, it sort of has a that kind of vibe mixed with tumble-down Victorian and industrial school about it.

It's a complete dump anyway and it's absolutely disgraceful that the HSE sees fit to keep elderly and disabled patients in it.

If they even got an interior designer and a painting team in to give it a once over it would at least improve the massively negative psychological impact it's having on its patients.

My relatives main concern is that she does not want to die in a dump like this.

She actually had excellent and very high-tech and expensive medical treatment for her cancer, most of which would have not been available on the NHS if she were in the UK, but then it's all let down by sending her off to recuperate in a completely inappropriate facility.

The Irish Healthcare "System" seems to be completely inconsistent and while you can get good service, you can also be confronted by stuff like this which really shouldn't exist in this country. We had enough money to sort out all of these problems and put appropriate infrastructure in.

It just makes me think that we are suffering from systemic gross mismanagement of resources and the Government *has* to go.

I mean we were swimming in cash for quite a long while and they managed to blow the whole lot of it and did a half-assed job on building infrastructure i.e. schools falling apart, hospitals randomly new / collapsing depending on the luck of the draw, the slowest motorway build-out project in human history... etc etc etc
 
Last edited:

Catalpa

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 10, 2004
Messages
10,257
My wife's Aunt spent the last 3 years of her life in that place.

I don't remember it being that overcrowded at the time but it sure was shabby and IMO the patients were left to mentally rot with very little in the way of stimulus for the long term patients...

- now maybe given the average age and constition of the patients I can see that might not be easy when the place is short staffed and clearly underfunded.

It should be brought up to acceptable standard ASAP!
 

toughbutfair

Well-known member
Joined
May 28, 2009
Messages
9,814
In the old days didn't nurses keep the hospital clean? Maybe if they stayed back 20 minutes after their shift and did a bit of cleaning it wouldn't feel such a miserable place?
 

Tallaght01

Active member
Joined
Apr 10, 2010
Messages
188
I often wonder do the HSE just believe their own propaganda that these places aren't as bad as are made out. Or do they just choose to lie.

A colleague of mine in an Irish A+E said Harney once came to visit. Everyone on trolleys were cleared out to other parts of the hospital for the duration of her visit.

Then when she met junior docs, she was only introduced to the fresh ones, who had just started their shifts.

The people at the top couldn't care less about patients. I don't know how they sleep at night.
 

MsAnneThrope

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 8, 2009
Messages
1,807
First of all Six I'm very sorry to hear of your relative's situation. I hope she recovers well and in dignified surroundings. I have been to St. Mary's and I agree with everything you have said in the OP. I also sympathise with the staff working there.

There was a thread here last year about the Phoenix Park/St. Mary's: Harney orders new hospitals built without planning permission on basis of emergency

And an Irish Times article on May 18th 2009: Harney exempted Phoenix Park plan

I took my eyes off this ball so I'm not in a position to join the dots at this time, but hopefully someone else out there can shed some light on what's going on there, and why...
 

clairec

Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2008
Messages
90
Weirdly, St.Mary's hospital is where the President votes in elections.
But the resdients generally don't get to. If they ask get get given excuses about not having ID on them but really I think the issue is that there are not enough staff available to bring each resident down individually. Some of the wheelchairs are huge and heavy and the building is just not suitable. I think the occupational therpaists and phsyios who have left cannot be replaced so there is an issue with under staffing.

It isn't just a matter of a lick of paint. There are some wonder projects like the residents garden and the activity staff do some great activities but the building just isn't suitable. There are new wings which were purposes built but in the old building the resdients can spend the whole day in bed or sitting beside it. The day rooms on some wards are tiny and dark and contain one tv and don't have room for even 1/4 of the patients on the ward if they tried to come in together. They also get used for meetings.

Of course for some people it is home and they would be too distressed is they were moved at this stage in their lives but I would love to see most patients moved into a better building.

Scarily this is one of the better facilities in terms of resources.
 

slx

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 13, 2008
Messages
883
In the case of my relative, she's quite elderly but she's as together & with it as most 20-somethings I know.

She's used to an very active lifestyle and I can't really see how spending several weeks in a drab, dreary, tumble-down building is supposed to be theraputic!

Also, to be fair to the nursing staff, they're worked off their feet. You can't really expect them to double job as cleaners and maintenence people.

This isn't day-to-day cleaning and light dusting it's serious hardcore stuff and sheet lack of building maintenence.
 

clairec

Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2008
Messages
90
I meant to add there is no shop. Residents are entirely dependenon visitors for papers, sweets, tissues, cigarettes everything. The issue has been raised many times over several years but never resolved.
 

greengoose2

Well-known member
Joined
May 30, 2009
Messages
24,897
I meant to add there is no shop. Residents are entirely dependenon visitors for papers, sweets, tissues, cigarettes everything. The issue has been raised many times over several years but never resolved.
Now there's an idea for some young enterprising person. A mobile kiosk with most of the essentials; newspapers, ciggies, sweets and chocies etc.

As for the cleaning, why not enlist some of the more willing unemployed to do some cleaning?
 

slx

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 13, 2008
Messages
883
With regard to voting in hospitals, surely a postal ballot should be arranged by returning officers in each constituency that contains a hospital / care home?

All it would take is someone to identify who is there and which constituency hey are voting in. Distribute the ballots per ward and ensure the secrecy of the ballot. There's no reason why a patient couldn't vote from bed with the curtains drawn.

Collect sealed envelopes and return them to the appropriate constituency count centre.

The electoral system should help out, it shouldn't be entirely down to hospital staff.

My relative is in the old building, so I have no idea wha the newer bits look like. However there was absolutely no evidence of anything new on our trip. The building was as described in my OP.

It's just completely unsuitable as a step-down facility.

There's also a terrible situation where rehab patients are literally next to (with in arms reach from bed) from people on palliative care programmes (actually dying). It really doesn't do much for the morale or psychological state of patients who need rehab or who have terminal illnesses with medium-term good health and, state of mind who need a good quality of life for what little time they minght have left. They need to be somewhere that's bright, fun and positive...
 
Last edited:

clairec

Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2008
Messages
90
If your relative is in for rehab ask about moving to the new wards. If you drive around to the carpark at the back you can see a few new buildings. They look like apartment blocks with lots of glass. All the residents have their own rooms. Speak to a social worker or advocate about the process for moving.

If that isn't a possibility there is a new day room/activity centre where residents if they are well enough can spend the day, have lunch etc. Speak to the activities coordinator about arranging that.
 

slx

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 13, 2008
Messages
883
The physical environment is the issue. I didn't really see any issue with the staff. It's entirely the building!

I would agree with the report.

I'll see what can be done regarding moving her into the newer part.

Thanks for the info!!
 


New Threads

Popular Threads

Most Replies

Top