Delay on additional hospital beds in Tallaght Hospital is inexcusable

Tallaght Hospital

Seán Crowe T.D. has said it is inexcusable and unacceptable that it has taken the Minister for Health over two years to ask the HSE to examine if there is any additional capacity in hospitals that can be utilised.

Deputy Seán Crowe said: “For over two years now, Sinn Féin representatives and other stakeholders, including the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), have been asking the Minister for Health to examine what beds had been closed in hospitals during the austerity years and to commit funding to reopen them. “On countless occasions, we were told to wait on the publication of the bed capacity review. However, when the long awaited review was eventually published, it did not even try to fully examine what beds were closed, where they were closed, and how many are actually closed.

“While welcoming the Minister’s announcement this week that he will now ask the HSE to examine if there is any additional capacity in hospitals that can be utilised, the question many of us who are concerned about this issue are asking is why it has taken him over two years to do this. “The fact it has taken over two years for this action to be taken by Minister Harris speaks volumes about this Government’s utter lack of urgency in resolving the waiting list and Emergency Department trolley crises.  Staff and patients continue to suffer while lame excuses are trotted out by Government spokespersons. This lengthy delay, in what is clearly a crisis, is inexcusable.

“The HSE, under the direction of the Minister are not prepared for the challenges that this coming winter will bring. The current service is overstretched and we are only in the month of August. “There is clear evidence that Tallaght University Hospital will have to increase the capacity of its adult emergency services in order to cope with a growing and ageing catchment population. It will have to expand its Acute Medical Assessment Unit and its Acute Surgical Assessment Unit. “Tallaght also needs more critical care beds, more inpatient beds and, an eventual expansion of the Emergency Department itself. “I questioned the Minister on this in the Dáil in July and the fact that there is a shovel ready site on the footprint of Tallaght Hospital ready to deliver extra hospital beds, but there doesn’t seem to be any plans from the Minister to fast-track funding for this urgently needed project.

“The announcement by the Minister this week, while welcome, is something that should have been done when Sinn Féin and many others called for it in early 2016. “This tardiness in responding is just another example into a whole litany of failures of this Minister and his predecessors, who time and time again have shown their complete inability to address the key underlying issues around the bed crisis, including staff recruitment and retention.”

Sarah Brooks

Sarah Brooks

Sarah has worked in marketing and content creation for many years. In her role at Newsgroup, she is the online editor of www.newsgroup.ie with a particular interest in local news and events. Sarah also works closely with our editorial team on our printed editions in Tallaght, Lucan, Clondalkin and Rathcoole/Saggart. If you have a story and would like to make contact please email Sarah at info@newsgroup.ie.

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