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€23.5m on record storage and transport

By far the largest spend was by the hospitals of the South/South West Hospitals Group, at more than €10 million. The University of Limerick Hospital Group spent the next highest amount at €3.7 million, and the Saolta University Health Care Group was third, at approximately €3.6 million.

According to information released to the Medical Independent (MI) under Freedom of Information legislation, Cork University Hospital (CUH) spent the most of any hospital, €5.5 million, between 2008 and 2015. University Hospital Limerick spent €2.2 million and Galway University Hospitals spent €3.2 million during the period.

Connolly Hospital, Dublin, spent €299,461 over the period, while the Midland Regional Hospital, Tullamore, spent almost €950,000. The smallest expenditure came from the South/South West Hospital Group HQ, which spent just €374 on patient record transport and storage.

“Increased hospital activity, eg, day cases and outpatient activity, has resulted in significant growth in the number of patient charts. Limited storage capacity is available on-site in some hospitals, including University Hospital Limerick and [University Hospital] Kerry,” the HSE said.

“For example, CUH indicated that all patients’ medical notes are stored off-site after six months of non activity (follow-up appointments or other activity) on a chart. This is primarily due to the limited storage space available in [the] Medical Records Department.”  

In the south west, Iron Mountain Ireland Ltd was paid €7,431,016 for storage services over the eight-year period. It was also paid €1.06 million by hospitals in the mid west.

Glenbeigh Records Management was paid €2,252,618 by the hospitals in the south east, with the exception of St Luke’s Hospital, which paid Wincanton Records Management €532,665.

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