Closure of 12 beds is ‘mind-boggling’
THERE were 12 hospital beds closed at St Columcille’s Hostpital in Loughlinstown at the week ending October 22.
Of those, 10 were due to staff shortages and two were closed for infection control purposes.
This information was contained in the answer to a parliamentary question put to the Minister for Health by Deputy Billy Kelleher. The figures are contained within a letter to the TD from the HSE dated November 8.
Deputy Stephen Donnelly said he is astonished to learn that a number of hospital beds are closed at the hospital at a time when the health service is facing into an overcrowding crisis.
‘It’s mind-boggling that hospital beds are closed as we face into an overcrowding crisis in our health service,’ said Deputy Donnelly. ‘Closing hospital beds for infection control is necessary and understandable, but doing so due to staff shortages is inexcusable and clearly demonstrates that there is a problem with resource management in our health system,’ he said.
‘The INMO confirmed just yesterday that record levels of overcrowding are continuing in our health service. 82,459 people were stuck on trolleys, in Emergency Departments or Wards, in first 10 months of 2017. This problem is being exacerbated by the fact that nearly 200 hospital beds across the country are closed, many due to staff shortages which is avoidable with proper resource management,’ said Deputy Donnelly.
‘This Government must finalise and publish the Bed Capacity Review, and outline its plan to reduce the number of closed beds. For as long as there are sick people lying on trolleys in our Emergency Departments, there can be no acceptance for unnecessary bed closures. It’s immoral and it must be dealt with as a priority.’
The HSE told Deputy Kelleher in their letter that the number of beds can fluctuate greatly and that the figures provided were for a moment in time.
St Columcille’s Hospital, Loughlinstown.
Deputy Stephen Donnelly