Tallaght Hospital has committed to using the findings of a landmark report on community health in Tallaght over time to inform the future provision of its services as part of it wider community engagement strategy.
The Health Assets and Needs Assessment (HANA), which was co funded by the Adelaide Health Foundation and Tallaght Hospital, surveyed 343 households to capture the views of the residents on key health issues including mental health, chronic illnesses as well as access to, and use of, health services.
In terms of Hospital services, 23% of households had attended Tallaght Hospital in the 12 months prior to the study. Almost three in four (74%) primary carers were satisfied with the care that they received and a total of 94% believe that the hospital is beneficial to the surrounding area. The study found 9% of those surveyed being on a waiting list for treatment at the Hospital with almost half (48%) waiting six months or less, one fifth (20%) were waiting between seven and 12 months and nearly a third (32%) were waiting 13 months or longer.
The report also found that 40% of households had utilised Tallaght Hospital’s Emergency Department services within the previous 12 months. Chronic illness and disability had a role to play in the high and ongoing dependence on both local hospital services and on general practice. Nearly three-quarters of people with a chronic illness had visited their GP within the last three months of the survey, and over a third had visited Tallaght Hospital. For Emergency Department attendances, the three main reasons for attendance were sustaining a cut or wound due to a fall or attack (23%), orthopaedic, such as a fracture (15%) and gastrointestinal problems (12%). Of those attending, 56% referred themselves, 25% were referred by a GP and 13% came by ambulance. Three out of four primary carers in a home also highly rated their experience at Tallaght Hospital and almost 70% indicated that they would recommend Tallaght Hospital Emergency Department to a friend or family member.
Tallaght Hospital CEO David Slevin and HANA report Steering Group member stated “Tallaght Hospital has a very large catchment area extending across the region but it also plays a central role in its immediate community. The Hospital was therefore very keen to support this study through funding and participation on its Steering Group. The Health Assets and Needs Assessment gives us important additional health insights as well as feedback on how local residents interact with the Hospital and their views on its services. Given the level of public interaction with the Hospital there will always be concerns expressed, such as in relation to waiting times and as a Hospital we are working to address these issues. I would like to thank the Adelaide Health Foundation for their support for the project and all the members of the Steering Group and delivery team for producing a report that will have real benefit for the local community.”
- Understanding the profile and health needs of the users of your services is a central part of planning for the provision of health services. By mapping health needs, health assets and local services over time the HANA report provides invaluable data and insights that will inform how we develop our future services in Tallaght Hospital. It is clear from the report that Tallaght Hospital is seen as a vital element of local health services and also that users want to have their say on how services are developed and delivered. Tallaght Hospital is already highly active in the community, through the annual Fettercairn Community Health Project. We have recently rolled out a comprehensive programme of detailed patient surveys to ascertain the views of our users from across the country on their hospital service experiences to date. The HANA report is another component in this work and we are committed to using the data and feedback it provides as we constantly work to improve our services.”
The study also assessed the provision of community, health and leisure facilities as part of a holistic approach that included family details in terms of illness, finances and unemployment. In terms of the prevalence of illness, 22% of people in the households surveyed had at least one chronic illness, with heart disease (38%), diabetes and respiratory disease (both 15%), the most common. In addition, of those surveyed, there was a 25% decrease in the proportion of households reported to have at least one smoker between 2001 and 2014. The HANA report also highlights that high levels of stress are endemic in the area with a significant increase in those reporting feeling stress related to work compared to figures from 2001.
The Health Assets and Needs Assessment report is founded on evidence-based and independent research conducted by Dr Catherine Darker, Lucy Whiston, Jean Long, Erica Donnelly-Swift and Joe Barry from the Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Trinity College Dublin.
A full copy of the report can be found here
About Tallaght Hospital
Tallaght Hospital is one of Ireland’s largest acute teaching hospitals, providing child-health, adult, psychiatric and age-related healthcare on one site. The hospital has 614 beds and employs almost 3,000 staff. The Hospital is a provider of local, regional and national specialities. It is also a national urology centre, the second largest provider of dialysis services in the country and a regional orthopaedic trauma centre.
Tallaght Hospital is one of two main teaching hospitals of Trinity College Dublin - specialising in the training and professional development of staff in areas such as nursing, emergency medicine and surgery, amongst many others. Tallaght Hospital is part of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group which serves a population of over 1.2 million across seven counties. A new satellite centre is to be built at Tallaght Hospital as part of the National Children’s Hospital project as a key element of an integrated clinical network for paediatric services nationally.
The hospital’s Emergency Departments catered for 44,640 Adult ED Attendances and 31,934 Paediatric Attendances in 2014. A further 263,929 patients were treated through hospital clinics in 2014. The hospital’s operations are supported by a community of 300 general practitioners in surrounding communities.