Sinn Féin TD for Sligo/Leitrim, Martin Kenny, has called for an urgent meeting between the Minister for Health, and senior frontline staff from Sligo University Hospital (SUH), after staff raised concerns about the level of overcrowding being experienced at the hospital.
Speaking today, Teachta Kenny said:
“There have been capacity issues at SUH for a number of years, however we have now reached a point where staff have reached out directly to the Minister for Health, so that he can truly understand the conditions they are trying to save lives in.”
“It is my understanding that the hospital is frequently over 110% capacity, which means staff are being forced to treat patients without a bed at times. This is a scandalous position to be in, in Ireland in 2022.
“For the first 10 months of 2022, SUH ranked third highest as part of the INMO Trolley Watch, where 6,919 patients were on trolleys.
“This over-capacity is putting a significant strain on the functionality of the hospital and in some cases, is a risk to patient safety through no fault of staff.
“There is also the added issue of medical equipment within the hospital. There have been repeated requests by the hospital for a second CT scanner, requests which so far have been ignored by the Department of Health.
“This is despite constant repairs taking place on the only scanner, the delays these repairs pose for those awaiting scans, and the overall clinical need of those across the region.
“I accept that there is current capital work ongoing in SUH, the hospital realistically requires a new wing according to frontline staff.
“The HSE must start prioritising expansion plans for the severely overcrowded hospitals like Sligo, Cork and Limerick.
“While there are also issues facing the HSE around workforce planning, the most immediate difficulty facing patients and staff is overcrowding and that requires an immediate response from the Minister and the HSE.”